Spatial Software


Software applications can utilize spatial interfaces to afford users powerful ways of thinking and interacting. Though often associated with gaming, spatial interfaces can be useful in any kind of software, even in less obvious domains like productivity tools or work applications. We will see spatial interfaces move into all verticals, starting with game-like interfaces for all kinds of social use-cases.

Social distancing has placed the whole world in a new context. People everywhere are feeling a need for the presence of others, analogous to what we have in the real world. Social media isn’t enough. In fact, none of our social apps are really enough. Because our current software is too plain, based on a purely utilitarian exchange of information.

Messaging apps are stacks of bubbles. Video calls are faces inside static rectangles. There are only so many degrees of freedom for users inside of these apps, which makes them simple to use. But this simplicity also strips away so much of the freedom we have during in-person interactions. You can type any message, but typing a message is all you can do. You can call any person, but talking directly into your camera is all you can do once you’re connected. Without spatial interfaces, our current software doesn’t give us much expressive control.

Behold the demise of the global timelines. Read more