In short: 3D, immersive version of a mouse needed. How does it work?
Call it whatever you want, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Augmented Reality. They're all slightly different, and yet they share the same immersive quality and the 3D feel (and perhaps make use of things such as redirected walking (where a 90 degree turn appears to turn you 80 degrees) and redirected touching (look it up, it's pretty cool).
Now, what this nice immersive place is missing is a good mouse. Yes, the clicking, annoying thing that we use everyday, and what I inevitably go back to after trying and failing to do any sort of precise design work on a tablet with my short and stubby Trump-like fingers.
It's what graduated us from consoles to using a 2D GUI. Now, all of my futureworld stories (past 2020 or so) just HAVE to feature AR (my favorite flavor of mixed-virtual world). Currently, I think most 3D design is done in CAD programs, with folks staring at 2d screens and clicking and typing away. Seems like we're missing something, doesn't it?
Specifically, I want to have a 12 year old girl, let's call her Alice, summoning into existence from scratch (and a few libraries) an entire (populated) palace, with the environment half-listening to her (mouse-like-object)-given directions, half using deep neural nets to conjure up the rest based on these clues and Alice's past history in the environment.
To review, I want my story to feature this 3D-virtuality-optimized-mouse-like-object(?) - I put object with a question mark because I am open to the idea of there being no physically interactive artifact, but something else altogether. It has to meet a few requirements:
- it has to accept user input (duh).
- it has to enable commands to start, flow through a potential forest of paths and end, clearly and intuitively.
- a 12 year old should be able to use it safely.
- it has to work in a 3d environment, so allow for more degrees of freedom across a wider angle-set that anything we would do with a regular screen/mouse combo.
- it should involve not much more work/strain than using a mouse (i.e. it should not involve doing cartwheels).