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Sketchpad 1963 and a Contemporary Incarnation

The original Sketchpad-Video from 1963 with comments from Alan Kay:

Earliest known footage of Dr. Ivan Sutherland’s MIT PhD. thesis, Sketchpad, the world’s first computer graphics system, with commentary by Dr. Alan Kay, of PARC.

Sato Saga from the Muroran Institute of Technology shows what is state-of-the-art in 2007:

Professor Soto Saga’s Interactive Systems Research Laboratory at the Muroran Institute of Technology continues to move forward in developing a freehand graphic input technology.

BlueGrotto is a freehand 3D modeling system that uses a virtual reality environment to enable users to create accurate geometric solid figures by merely sketching the lines in the air freehand.

BlueGrotto uses a freehand graphic recognition engine dubbed the “Fuzzy Spline Curve Identifier” (FSCI) that the Muroran research lab developed. The FSCI enables users to input various geometric solid shapes by simply sketching the lines of the figure in the air.

The lab has also developed a “Sketch Input Tracer” (SKIT) that converts the FSCI engine into a front-end processor to make it possible to easily add freehand graphic input recognition function to CAD and 3D modelers already on the market.

BlueGrottoFEP is also under development, and it will convert BlueGrotto into a 3D freehand input front-end processor (FEP).

BlueGrottoFEP brings BlueGrotto’s direct freehand input functionality to existing commercial CAD systems.

The goal of the lab is to develop a practical 3D modeling environment that incorporates its proprietary technologies to enable intuitive freehand input simultaneously with the input of an abundant number of CAD commands.

I think there are many differences, but these examples are not totally different. In 1963 Sketchpad was an absolutely new invention and therefore state-of-the-art in the 60s.

The other video shows a 3d-input-interface for CAD-Drawings. That is, in my eyes, a consequently sequel to Sketchpad in our time more than 40 years later.

These two projects aren’t in the same context. The videos should give you an example of what is brand new this time so you can get a better impression of what people think about Sketchpad in 1963.

In the second video the drawer uses a head mounted display, too. Ivan Sutherland, the inventor of Sketchpad developed the first head mounted display in 1970. Virtual Reality and the advantage to view your construction in 3D is an essential ability to draw in 3D. It wouldn’t be state of the art if you had to look on an usual display when you invent a really new 3D CAD-Software. In the video in fact you can see two new incarnations of inventions of Ivan Sutherland.

In 1963 you can draw on a computer in 2D, in 2007 in 3D. (Guess what maybe comes next…)

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