Were it not for an unusual feature, Moju could easily be dismissed as ‘yet another Instagram clone’. However, the iOS app uses motion sensors to add a sense of depth to its images and – crucially – pairs the visual depth with motion-based input to make it feel realistic. You twist the phone and the image appears to twist with it.
MEX looked at 3D and depth in mobile user experience design several years ago, when devices from Nintendo and LG were debuting stereoscopic 3D screens. Despite the interesting new possibilities these raised, they largely failed because the visual depth observed on the screen was not paired with a similarly three dimensional input mechanism. Instead, everything was done through a flat touchscreen and, as a result, the interactions felt at best weird and at worst induced motion sickness.
Moju is an interesting example of how spatial depth is slowly making its presence felt in successful user experiences, like Apple’s subtle use of layers and motion in iOS 7.