DaVinci is a Microsoft Surface application that blurs the lines between the physical and virtual world by combining object recognition, real-world physics simulation and gestural interface design.
One of the important design and technology considerations around building direct manipulation interfaces is to ensure virtual objects behave like real-world objects. The real world physics behavior of these objects is a type of visual affordance, which aids in delivering an intuitive user experience – users know what to expect when they manipulate objects in the virtual world when they behave like objects in the real world. The physics engine used in DaVinci is being applied to our other applications to create interfaces which have natural real world physics.
The DaVinci experience could easily be extended to teach Newton’s laws of motion, gravity, friction, orbital motion and other physics concepts in a classroom setting.