The charter for Sense 4 was to conceptualize and create an immersive and interactive 3D environment, with each core feature of the skin offering a uniquely fun and engaging, yet consistent experience. This concept was developed years before the agent craze of Siri and Google Now took the mobile world by storm.
It's interesting that currently as we move towards artificial intelligence and immersive 3D worlds, the vision for the future on these prototypes were developed so early in it's infancy. Instead of simply offering a disembodied agent that's mainly built around utility, HTC's goal was to boldly create a fully visually-personified agent that would not only be interactive in real 3D world space, but also have base intelligence about the user and their use patterns.
As the title implies, the concept was to build a Home screen utility assistant. But unlike Siri, HTC's assistant would give it's consumers a "real" 3D Robot that a user could really interact with. Not to mention retrieving your text messages and reporting today's forecast at your very whim. It put the fun back in utility.
Of course, when I say the term 3D, I'm not talking about 2.5D or faked 3D. No, I'm talking real 3D space, on the X, Y and Z. A lot of Z and a lot of Autodesk Maya.
I was tasked with not only conceiving of the Robot and it's interactions, but also the modeling, rigging, texturing and animating as well. Thanks design minions!
The videos below highlight some of these multiple stages throughout the ideation process.
Let's face it. As much as you love your kids and last winter's vacation to Hawaii, your average photo gallery format is just plain old boring.
I suspect most designers don't aspire to build up what's largely a utility in fear of overpowering the main content (the actual photos) and in the process confusing the heck out of the user. However, in this case I wasn't that designer. Again, I got to be naughty with the Z space.
What's a 3D smartphone experience without a 3D FM radio to dial into?
We got to keep and actually ship one of the many 3D-centric concepts. And once again, I got to play in HTC's 3D garden maze. I present you with HTC's Sense 4.0 UI World Clock. An immersive 3D globe that can be rotated and countries can be selected. Again, I conceived, modeled, and textured this bad boy in Maya.