This is the feature walkthrough of Bumptop, a gorgeously intuitive 3D user interface that mimics the functionality of your desk in real life. 


BumpTop, which debuted at TED 2007, was finally launched earlier this week. There’s a free version available for download and a Pro version for $29. First of all, it looks great. I’m definitely going to to give BumpTop a try this weekend. 

PROS  

  • Multidimensionality means more desktop space for user content. (Like Spaces on Mac OSX Leopard.)
  • You can make “piles” or “shelves” of related files, flip through them like a book or put them on a grid. (I’m a big fan of making stacks in real life).
  • You can make enlarge more important files and shrink others. (Yes! Visual prioritization!)
  • You can toss files around the desktop. Because BumpTop is physics-enabled, larger files are have more “weight” and will plow through smaller files. (Entertaining, functional, and obeys the laws of physics!) 
  • Social media integration allows you to update Facebook, or Flickr by dropping photos onto their respective icons.

CONS

  • Since it’s not a real OS, the 3D environment is constrained to the desktop.  Applications will pop up as flat windows, which is kind of awkwardly inconsistent. Not a permanent fix.

Perhaps the full potential of BumpTop cannot be realized unless it’s paired with a touchscreen device. Windows 7 is said to support multi-touch gestures in BumpTop, which should be a lot more fun.

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Of course, the better solution is if  Microsoft or Apple revamped their entire OS’s to give true 3D computing environments. I love the idea of a pseudo-gestural interface that takes on the appearance of a real working environment. It’s about time we transitioned from dealing with files & folders to a more tangible and intuitive means of data manipulation.

apple3d
As mentioned previously, Apple has gotten the ball rolling and patented some ideas for multidimensional desktop environments for future Mac OS’s.

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