Fiona, SpaceNavigator, SketchUp and Second Life

The other day, I received a product evaluation of the laptop version of 3Dconnexion’s SpaceNavigator for Notebooks. I am starting to test it as a navigation and building tool for Second Life. Support for the SpaceNavigator is part of the Second Life Client Release Candidate 1.20. The Release Candidate still seems a little flaky, and I need to do more testing.

However, SpaceNavigator also comes with some very nice demo applications and it works quite nicely with Google’s SketchUp. I showed Fiona, my six-year-old daughter SketchUp and she spent quite a bit of time playing with it. It helped with the old rule that I have about computer games. My kids are free to play any computer game that they can program. For my older kids, they started programming in Logo and MOO code. Yet as virtual worlds become increasingly 3D, they need to hone their 3D creation skills.

The older girls got a chance to play with systems like Open Croquet and Blender. It seems like the SpaceNavigator might be a great tool these systems, but I suspect that they don’t have a large enough user base to justify the development.

I explained to Fiona that I was working on a product review of the SpaceNavigator, and she wanted to add her how comments. They ended up being about SketchUp, instead of the SpaceNavigator, but I thought some of you might enjoy Fiona’s product review of SketchUp:

Well, first you make a square or a circle and then you see this little arrow pointer thing and you click on that and pull up the square or circle. After that, you can make the square crazy by clicking on the thing on the top line with four arrows. Then you might want to color them in. Click on a paint bucket that you’ll see on the top, then all different words come up. Click on any one of them. Then really cool pages will come up. Then click on anything you want to and then click on a piece of the lines that will appear there.

So, over the next few days, I’ll continue to test the SpaceNavigator. However, I’ll also be pleased to see Fiona busy building new objects in SketchUp instead of playing on some of the other, less creative, pre-packaged virtual worlds.

(Categories: )