Our mind-body connection is fundamentally wired for three dimensions, something we express every time we move through space. (Okay, granted, my brain may have unwired itself sitting perpetually at this computer – dance floor, beware. But it is our natural state.)

The problem is, computer interfaces have been trapped in Flatland for decades. One compelling solution is Amit Pitaru‘s 2003-vintage Rhonda 3D drawing tool. The control mechanism remains two-dimensional, but thanks to more wonderful human inventions – having two hands and opposable thumbs – Amit’s interface breezily translates movement into a rotating 3D sculpture.

In short, it lets you sketch in 3D. Now, if you’re drawing-challenged in two-dimension, I’m not sure this will help. But if you’ve longed to use your existing sketching ability to manipulate in that extra dimension, this could be a brilliant solution.

In the past week, many of you have likely seen Rhonda making the Interweb and Twitter rounds. The reason is that even though the video above was produced in 2004-5 by Amit’s long-time collaborator James Paterson, the video was just released publicly.

And there’s more good news. Zach Lieberman of the C++-based development environment OpenFrameworks and Zach Gage of “spatial sequencer” synthPond for Pd and iPhone have joined the development team. With their help, Amit is promising that you’ll see Rhonda for other platforms. (Hopefully that includes OpenFrameworks, which can also run on the iPhone, and Java-based Processing, which I expect we’ll see on the Android.)

You can sign up to get on that testing list at the site below.

http://rhondaforever.com/

Via the lovely design-savvy Ponoko Blog

  • http://www.myspace.com/tooltablist Mudo

    3d connection Space Navigator will be better choice for round up/down the plane.

    The app is cool so!

  • http://www.LawrieCape.co.uk/theBlog Lawrie

    See also – this system used as a rotational midi music device – http://www.vimeo.com/1882508

  • http://www.tweakingknobs.com TweakingKnobs

    we can allready do this in… Blender.

    witht the grease pencil drawing in the 3d view, we can also hide the 3d grid so we have a plane background.

    as the grease pencil can be used in 3d the effect is the same ;D

  • WonderDog

    Anyone have any idea what hardware he's using to run this? The musical version of this is multitouch and pen aware…