Smartphones and tablets have all kinds of sensors built in of which CAD vendors haven't really made too much use. I think one vendor lets you shake the phone to create an exploded view, and that's about it.
A bunch of grads from Canada's University of Waterloo have taken the sensors in iOS devices to create a 3dconnexion-like mouse.CADremote (99 cents) and CADcontrol ($5) from Maide orbits the 3D viewpoint as you move the iOS device around in the air.
Here's what else they do, a list of features that's expanded since first announced last fall:
- Pan, orbit, and zoom using multi-finger touch; use the iOS device's screen as a trackpad for mouse control.
- Connect several iOS devices the same software program for group viewing, although only on person has control at a time.
- Take screen grabs of models, and then sketch on top of them.
For the extra $4, CADcontrol for iPad adds these items:
- Tap in specific areas to display standard views (left, top, etc).
- Use the iOS device's keyboard to enter text on the computer.
- Select commands and keyboard modifiers on the iOS device through the customizable menu.
A little bit curious is the list of CAD pkgs supported: 3ds Max, Maya 3D, Rhino 3D, SketchUp, and SolidWorks -- with the elephant, AutoCAD, missing from the list.
Using it requires installing two pieces of software: one on the iOS device, and another ( free) on your Windows or O X desktop computer. The iOS device communicates via a dedicated WiFi link, in a manner typical of WiFi file managers.
Users are already asking for more features, like orbiting around selected sub-objects.