Time to Think in 3D

Today is the day. It is with great excitement that we are announcing the official Early Access release of Altar Show. You can download Show on Steam here for the HTC Vive!

Why Show? At Altar, our mission is to augment human intelligence. Our first step towards augmenting human intelligence for the masses is Show, a VR productivity tool built from the bottom up using insights from neuroscience.

The natural question is: why VR? And does it really make you better? The answer is two-fold, but encompassed by one idea: space.

Virtual reality provides the platform for users to engage with things spatially – that is, in truly perceived 3D. There are the standard features that come to mind when thinking about VR and space. You can navigate a virtual environment, manipulate 3D content, and feel truly immersed in an impossible environment. Show achieves all of that, and more.

Yes, VR is 3D… but is information 3D? Aside from the obvious 3D content, we’re not used to thinking of abstract information (e.g., all of Wikipedia) as 3-dimensional, even though there’s a close neuroscientific connection between information and space. That’s where Show comes in. We leverage the spatial affordances of virtual reality and take it one step further. We let you represent abstract information in 3 dimensions.

Take Bubbles, for instance. Bubbles are literal manifestations of your thoughts, in 3D. In fact, you can hold a Bubble in the palm of your hand… but what’s more, you can actually dive inside the Bubble. From within, you can populate the Bubble with virtual whiteboards, imported content (either in 2D or 3D), 3D sketches, more Bubbles (!) and more. When you exit, your work is preserved; in fact, you can look at your Bubble and, without entering, see exactly what’s inside. It’s like you’ve dived into and out of a thought, understanding and manipulating it from different levels of detail.

Naturally, no thought exists in isolation. So we created Relations. Relations are an intuitive and effortless way to connect anything you might have in Show, whether it be Bubbles, Mediaboards, 3D objects, etc.

There are other great features, some already mentioned, others waiting for you to explore, and many more in development (collaboration is the next target). Make sure to check out our video tutorials, getting-started guide, and some examples of Show in action. Of course, feel free to just dive right in – there are in-app tutorials, as well as a cheat-sheet, which explain everything you need to know to start Thinking in 3D.

And of course, the second question. Does Show really make you better? The short answer is: we’re actively researching that. The long answer is: working with information spatially, especially in 3D, does make you better at retaining that information. For evidence, check out some of our earlier blog posts, especially “Thinking with Space”.

As I mentioned, Show is just the first step in realizing Altar’s mission. We’re hard at work on step two, which is to build an ecosystem around this spatialized content. At the end of the day, it’s not just about brainstorming – it’s also about what happens after the brainstorming session. More on this soon 🙂

As always, we welcome feedback! Altar is as much about you as it is about anything else, so don’t hesitate to email us at contact@altarvirtual.com.

Happy Thrinking (“Think in 3D”-ing…we figured we’d give it a try 😉 )!

Nicco, Josh, Steve, and Avery

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