One of the most important long term goals of Cosma is to provide an entertaining, immersive and interactive 3D interface to the site. There are actually a number of demos of what this might look like that already exist, but none of the technologies are ideal, so there is no full implementation of the vision (yet).
The most recent demo is this fun little “microworld” that just started out as an experiment in using Roundme as a “previs” tool for a full implementation in a more robust platform like Unity3D. Click the frame below to check out the demo (then click “i”s for more info.)!
Experiments are also underway to implement an interface in Unity 3D. The goal of that version will be to make the 3D interface accessible and navigable within standard browsers without requiring special plugins (i.e. WebVR). However, it will still be awhile before that will be available. In the meantime, here’s a video of an experimental demo made in Unity3D.
The above examples are just the latest generation of Dr. Mary Hopper’s experiments with creating 3D interfaces to traditional, interactive and 3D content. The first generation of experiments were in Apple’s HyperCard back in the 1980s. Much more about the history of the 3D interfaces and the new experiments will be posted soon, so please stay tuned!
In the meantime, here is a page with a longer history of the project: Knowledge Places History