Apple granted patent for radical new multidimensional Mac file system featuring game-like 3D navigation

“The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 40 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we focus entirely on a radical new multidimensional file system for Macs and a gaming console,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Technically, Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to computer systems and more specifically to user interfaces for computer systems that facilitates information localization and organization,” Purcher reports. “Apple’s radical invention provides a method for classifying documents to allow a multi-dimensional graphical representation, the method comprising displaying a first group of documents on a first document vector; and displaying a second group of documents on a second document vector.”

“The invention goes to extremes in explaining ‘A System and Method for Locating and Organizing Information’ (SMLOI) stored in the memory of a computer system,” Purcher reports. “Apple states that in order to add meaning to the information contained inside the SMLOI, a story or a ‘game metaphor’ can be applied to the vectorial space. This would help to link information elements between them to improve the user understanding. If necessary, when using a ‘game metaphor,’ a score could be calculated using multiple parameters. The SMLOI can use a 3D/virtual reality environment and, to some extent, turn the ‘chore’ of SMLOI into some sort of a game; the system could even keep records and statistics of a user’s performance as an information organizer and user.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. In addition to have Spotlight to find SINGLE files, what is needed as well is a way to group all kinds of file types BY PROJECT.
      When starting a new day’s work, it would be very inefficient to find (and remember) every single file relevant to the job.

  1. Anyone remember Xspace — a 3D representation of the ‘net in your browser?

    I really liked that browser interface when looking for things on the “net. Unfortunately, it seems I was/am in the extreme minority.

    Seems echoes of Xspace keep recurring.

    1. Exactly. Apple has played with 3D representations of information previously. But this is the first great use of 3D (or multi-D) I’ve read in a long time! Essentially, it creates a visual ‘matrix’ representation of information where you can have as many vectors as you can stand on screen. This could be extremely useful! I want.

  2. Good, now maybe as I have said for years we can move from an GUI (Graphic User Interface) to a true OUI (Object User Interface).

    I’m glad someone at Apple’s been reading MDN.

      1. Aren’t we forgetting Ive’s home screen parallax effect and layering? — these are the first parts of an explicit 3D UI architecture that provides an extensible mental model of information manipulation, one that trains us to think differently, using spatial dimensions instead of just sequences.

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