Is there a tablet in Google’s future with a 3-D, multitouch interface? Some think there could be, since it just acquired BumpTop, whose software creates a 3D environment where users can toss their file icons around, stack them in piles and “hang” them on walls.
Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has acquired BumpTop, a software company that lets users make their computer desktops resemble an actual 3D desk. Terms…
Almost four years ago we got a glimpse of the BumpTop prototype, and the application of physics to desktop-based files looked great. Since then, the Windows version has been made available, and the Mac version has been in closed beta (as I’ve mentioned previously). I still like the concept, and it definitely feels like it was made for OS X (versus just a Windows port) which is ideal. To find out more about what BumpTop Mac does, and why (or why not) it may be useful for you, read on.
The good folks at BumpTop brand it as, “Your Mac Desktop, Reinvented,” which I believe is a fair statement. Though I look at it more as what Path Finder did for the Finder — it adds a bunch of features, and makes the standard OS X desktop prettier (in some ways). Read More about BumpTop Mac is Now Available
Just as BumpTop 3D is coming into its own on the Windows platform (Multi-Touch support in 7), a private Mac alpha is being circulated. It’s in Alpha for a reason too, because in its current state, it does little more than look like its Windows counterpart. But the BumpTop Mac team is looking for input and feedback as they build it out, which is where those with an Alpha version come into play.
Immediately after downloading and installing the BumpTop Alpha, I was terribly underwhelmed. Despite the Alpha team’s email-based warning, I was expecting something akin to what I’ve seen on the Windows side of the fence. But as I’ve considered the situation, I’m taking the optimistic approach. Read More about BumpTop for Mac is Now in Alpha
Most people have seen the BumpTop videos on YouTube and TED by now. (If you haven’t, I’ve embedded their current demo vid below. Take a look!) The official desktop replacement has been in private beta (for Windows only) for a little while now, and I’ve had the pleasure of playing along at home. The OS X release is pending, and after what I’ve seen on Windows, I’m interested to use it on my computer of choice.
Immediately, you get the cool vibe when using it. As a geek, I must say it’s just as slick as the video presentations we’ve seen. Though probably much better suited for the multi-touch interface it was designed for, at face value the features seem pretty useful. (Or at least a good alternative to the native Desktop.) But is BumpTop going to be worthy of daily use in place of the vanilla desktop we’re all used to? Right now I think its focus is a little too narrow for that. Here’s why. Read More about BumpTop as a Finder Replacement: Unlikely
Nvidia’s Nvision conference and celebration of all-things-graphics-processor starts today. As part of the brouhaha, the chipmaker is showcasing about 60 startups building businesses on the back of its GPU, and it’s interesting to see how many of these firms have nothing to do with gaming. As we’ve noted before, visual computing is becoming more important for everyday consumers on their desktops, and GPUs are making inroads into scientific and data intensive computing tasks.
We’ve written about multicore programming on GPUs and using the chips for scientific computing, video encoding and decoding and even chip-design verification. Companies such as Accelereyes, Silicon Informatics, Gauda and Elemental Technologies fit that mold. But some of the more interesting technologies are bringing intensive visuals from gaming and online worlds to the average consumer.
Startups like Bumptop, which is creating a 3-D desktop interface that screams out for touch screens; Cooliris, developers of PicLens visual web site displays; and SpaceTime, which allows for viewing the web in 3-D (it’s like tabbed browsing taken to the next level) all are pushing what people call the 3-D Internet. Other firms such as SeeFront and Spatial View (a SeeFront licensee) enable 3-D displays.
Today, those display products are for gamers or enterprises working with 3-D CAD programs, but if the consumers embrace 3-D desktops and web searches, such displays could appear on computers everywhere. Luckily multi-touch pioneer Perceptive Pixel is also at Nvision to show people how using touch could make such 3-D sites more navigable.
image courtesy of SpaceTime