Crafted by the researchers at the University of Montreal, the system is not so much about turning Word into an IMAX experience as offering designers an opportunity to navigate through and modify their creations manipulating 3D objects with 3D interactions.

Lead researcher Professor Tomas Dorta explained that their new technology challenges the notion of what a cursor is and does. The cursor becomes a drawing and controlling plane. The techniques they were unveiling involves using a tablet to control the cursor, but as it does not necessarily rely on external tracking of the user's movements, eventually other devices could be used, such as smart phones or watches.

Univalor, the university's technology commercialization unit, is supporting the market launch of the Hyve-3D system and the 3D cursor, via the startup Hybridlab Inc. Several patents are pending.

Beyond its utility for sketching, the scientists believe that the 3D cursor has applications in a wide range of fields, such as architectural design, medical imaging and of course computer games. This wasn't a gimmicky rebirth of the cursor, it's about rethinking how humans interact with computers as part of the creative process, Dorta said.

The technique was unveiled at the SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference in Los Angeles.