One day, Dennis Jones, a professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, was commiserating with his friends John Dickey, a Virginia Tech professor emeritus of public administration and policy, and Milton E. Lopes, a University of Georgia professor emeritus and a graduate of Virginia Tech’s doctorate program in public policy and administration. Jones said that he couldn’t remember where he put anything — his files, his notes, or his glasses.
Lopes said the last time he was able to find anything was in the first grade, when the nuns at his school organized the stuff the children needed in color-coded boxes.Dickey said he could only find what he was looking for in hardware stores, where an item’s picture appeared on the front of the box and the boxes were arranged on the aisles.
This conversation sparked an idea that Jones said eventually led to Quantum Matrix, a cube-shaped, three-dimensional, digital display of whatever a user wants. Jones said the original intention of the Quantum Matrix was to be an architectural project management tool. Jones said he wanted to keep everything related to a project in one place.
Jones said he is a jazz connoisseur. He has digitized and cataloged his entire jazz record collection into a Quantum Matrix cube.
If Jones wants to review his Duke Ellington selections, he clicks on a photo of Ellington, which brings up a new subcube. That cube has every song by Ellington that Jones has. Click on one song, and it begins to play. At the same time, Ellington’s biography, a list of his influences, artists who were influenced by him, a map to his birthplace, venues where he performed, artists he recorded with, a photo collection, and copies of playbills with his name on them appear.
The respective programs necessary to view or interact with each of the files automatically launch, which makes it possible to store all sorts of files in one place.
Jones kept adding the capability to store different types of information as he discovered the need for them — audio, sketches, computer-aided design drawings, notes, bills, contact information, and more. Each item has its own cube in the overall project cube. The project’s cube would represent one area on a larger cube for all of Jones’s architecture projects.
The cube that held all of Jones’s architecture projects would be part of a larger cube that held all of his business affairs. The cube that held his business affairs would be part of another area that sorted his life into work, family, hobbies, church, and other personal matters.
To prevent one from getting lost in this kind of labyrinth, Jones created a “red pill,” which is a sphere that floats next to the cube. Click it once and a user goes back one level. Click it twice and a user goes to the home screen. .
The Quantum Matrix was a finalist at the annual Mobile Rules competition in 2008. The competition is sponsored by an array of Fortune 500 Companies and venture capitalists. The Quantum Matrix was a finalist in the Best Technology Innovation in the Mobile Multimedia Applications category. The award ceremony was held in San Jose, Calif.
Nokia Corporation, one of the sponsors of the Mobile Rules competition, invited the 12 finalists to make presentations at a technology expo held in Espoo, Finland, at its corporate headquarters in May 2008.
Several companies have already purchased rights to use the Quantum Matrix technology. Most recently The Quantum Matrix LLC, became a development partner of NVidia Corporation, a manufacturer of graphics chips and computer graphic devices. The Quantum Matrix is currently being ported to the Microsoft ZUNE handheld multimedia device and the NVidia Tegra graphics chip.
In the future, it’s possible that all data will be accessible via a Quantum Matrix cube on a phone. And it all started because three professors couldn’t find their stuff.
The Quantum Matrix was awarded a United States patent. There is also an international patent for the Quantum Matrix.
More information on the patents
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