The application of shock control to transonic airfoils and wings has been demonstrated widely to have the potential to reduce wave drag. Most of the suggested control devices are two-dimensional, that is they are of uniform geometry in spanwise direction. Examples of such techniques include contour bumps and passive control. Recently it has been observed that a spanwise array of discrete three-dimensional controls can have similar benefits but also offer advantages in terms of installation complexity and drag. This paper describes research carried out in Cambridge into various three-dimensional devices, such as slots, grooves and bumps. In all cases the control device is applied to the interaction of a normal shock wave (M=1.3) with a turbulent boundary layer. Theoretical considerations are proposed to determine how such fundamental experiments can provide estimates of control performance on a transonic wing. The potential of each class of three-dimensional device for wave drag reduction on airfoils is discussed and surface bumps in particular are identified as offering potential drag savings for typical transonic wing applications under cruise conditions.