11 Comments

Summary:

With a pen-like stylus and a “physics-enabled” virtual workspace prototyped by BumpTop, you can organize electronic files into piles just like you do on your real desktop. I’m not sure whether this shows radical innovation or utter insanity; either way, it’s impressive. We’ve considered the virtues […]

With a pen-like stylus and a “physics-enabled” virtual workspace prototyped by BumpTop, you can organize electronic files into piles just like you do on your real desktop. I’m not sure whether this shows radical innovation or utter insanity; either way, it’s impressive.

We’ve considered the virtues of messiness before, but you’re probably wondering just why we’d want to bring the mess of the real world into cyberspace. Well, this system is not really about messiness, but rather about a different kind of order than the folders and files metaphor used by desktop operating systems today. The idea is that the way we organize papers and other items on our desk into piles holds meaning — we might, for example, create a pile for each project we’re currently working on.

The prototype workspace shown in the video has a bunch of cool features. When you “pick up” a file with the pen, it’s attached to the pen position by a spring, to give it a physical feel. Pushing a file up against another file bumps it out of the way. You can crumple up a file to represent an intermediate step towards eventual deletion. You can also fold the corner of a file to distinguish it from other files.

Whether this represents a viable way of dealing with electronic files is not clear, but it does show how cool future user interfaces will be.

[via Ryan in Seattle]

  1. Cedric Hurst Friday, March 30, 2007

    What was up with the bling-bling?

    Share
  2. In one of my past offices, we dubbed the meatspace version of this Advanced Pile Management. Some were better at it than others. If I had piles on my desk at all, but was away and needed something, I could always call someone and tell them which pile to look in, and where in the pile it was (“it’s in the pile closer to the front on the left, about a third of the way down, just under the blue folder”). But I really prefer that I can automate my computer to enforce certain aspects of organization. That’s one less thing I need to bother my brain with.

    Share
  3. [...] itches, warts and other such fun things at our virtual community at SMC.   Check out (via Web Worker Daily) or the video [...]

    Share
  4. I have a hard enough time finding paper documents when they’re hidden under a book or file folder. I can’t imagine that the ability to obfuscate documents on a virtual desktop would be useful.

    Share
  5. Why are people wasting time trying to create a digital version of a “pile file” system that doesn’t work well in the first place? Shouldn’t they be creating something that is better than the mess that I already have on my desk?

    Share
  6. [...] 1st, 2007 by Khurt Williams Web Worker Daily » Blog Archive Now Your Computer Desktop Can Be Just as Messy as Your Real One «With a pen-like stylus and a “physics-enabled” virtual workspace prototyped by BumpTop, you can [...]

    Share
  7. [...] have been so text-based, so 2-dimensional, so hierarchical. New organizational tools (like BumpTop: http://webworkerdaily.com/2007/03/30/your-computer-desktop-can-be-just-as-messy-as-your-real-one/) and search capabilities (like Google) are opening up new possibilities. With high-speed internet [...]

    Share
  8. Very impressive and pretty – would have to have the option to switch back to normal.

    Share
  9. it sure looks cool, but… how do i recognize a file without a name attached to it. and if there was a file name, would it turn and flip as well? maybe they got rid of it in the demo, because it looked to cluttered ;)

    Share
  10. Mark Woodward Sunday, April 15, 2007

    This may be old news to you ‘old pros’, but I just received a Logitch Alto and am thrilled beyond reasonable measure. It is a compact, light, useful ‘stand’ for when a laptop becomes a main computer.

    If you haven’t looked, and use a laptop regularly at your home office, I highly reccomend it,

    Mark

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post