Slashdot had an interesting story today about a new type of desktop organization called BumpTop. It’s definitely interesting from a “wow” perspective, but I’m not sure how useful it is in practice. Basically, it allows you to treat your files like magazines on a table. You can stack them, knock them down, toss them about. And then there are some useful tools like sorting, auto stacking, and searching.
It seems to be pretty processor intensive from the outside, though. The graphics are decent, but it seems to use true physics to control the movement and behaviour of the icons. They collide against each other, fall over, bounce around, etc. Seems to be a little much, but I guess processor power is increasing while cost is decreasing.
There have been other desktop improvements suggested over the years. One of the more popular styles is the 3D desktop design. Sphere is an example of this design. Basically, all of the windows become 3D objects that can be manipulated, moved around in a three dimensional state, tacked up in various areas, etc. I tried it back when it was in Beta. Pretty neat, but not something I wanted to use on a regular basis. Checking today, it looks like they’ve added an IE version as well that looks to do the same thing, but for individual web pages.
The idea of an alternate desktop is a neat one. I’m not sure what direction the future will go in, but it’s likely that it will have a lot to do with physical interactions such as pen and touch screens. And, perhaps, even further into the future we’ll see 3D interactive holographic systems. Something along the lines of a Star Trek Holodeck.
Wow, the future is exciting…