The other week a surprise announcement from Interactive Fabrication described their "Beautiful Modeler", essentially a touch-based iPad interface to a 3D modeling program. Nice!
Also recently the MakerBot Blog reported on Dries Verbruggen demonstrating a no-touch motion-detecting way to sculpt a vase - which was then 3D printed to the delight of onlookers. Also Nice!
Previously we've reported on a Haptic approach, where you wield a sophisticated 3D mouse to push/pull your 3D model in a similar way. Still Nice!
We're wondering where all this is going?
"Traditional" 3D modeling involves dimensions, mouse clicks, and a vast array of complex & precise tool buttons. And usually a rather fat How-To book. Quite different from the three new approaches above, all of which developed quite a buzz. Perhaps people want simpler interfaces such as these? Is there a reason that the easy-to-learn Google Sketchup is perhaps the most popular 3D modeler these days (OK, it might have to do with its price, too, we admit). But in general, simplicity rules - and these three new approaches oh so visually demonstrate simplicity.
We predict a wave of simplicity. No pun intended.