Scientists at Lancaster University have invented a moving 3D bar chart to display data in a more dynamic way. Liane Wimhurst replies.
STORY: 2D screens revolutionized how we digest information Now researchers have taken it to the next level with this 3D bar chart Emerge is a physical information display that brings data to life (SOUNDBITE) (English) LECTURER IN THE SCHOOL OF COMPUTING AND COMMUNICATIONS DR. JASON ALEXANDER, SAYING: "And so the whole idea of this is to be able to take data from our screens - so we look at bar charts and all kinds of data on our screens and bring it into the real world, into the physical world. And the reason we want to do that is that it allows people to engage much better with data sets than when they're hidden behind a virtual screen. The graph can be manipulated by touch. Users can scroll through information, highlight rows to compare them or hide data. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LECTURER IN THE SCHOOL OF COMPUTING AND COMMUNICATIONS DR. JASON ALEXANDER, SAYING: "People can collaborativerly look at this, we can walk around it and we can look at it from various different angles so I can see different perspectives on this same data set. So I can observe different trends, make different comparisons, much more easily than I could on my TV screen or my computer screen." The researchers say thy're exploring the impact of interacting with 3D information, and now plan to develop the prototype further, making it smaller and more portable.