Re: [NTLK] BumpTop

From: Joel M. Sciamma <>
Date: Fri Jun 23 2006 - 18:34:59 EDT

> I don't know if anyone has posted this to the list or not. The fact
> that it is mainly pen based made it an interesting idea for tablets.
> While it wouldn't really be newton friendly, I thought a few of you
> might enjoy.

I have been looking at BumpTop and wondering about how applicable it
might be.

The part of the presentation that uses photos and windows is more
directly interesting as each object is clearly recognisable, but is
it actually better than pictures in a grid browser or stacked
windows? The ability to toggle between a pile and a grid seems to
satisfy both modes but not when it comes to interacting with the
objects themselves.

While it seems to be good at managing small numbers of easily
recognisable objects, I'm not sure that it will scale well to handle
large numbers in its current form. List views, used extensively on
computers, are boring but very effective and informative. I like the
ability to replicate some of the techniques used in the real world to
keep objects sorted and organised but it lacks context to make
spatial relationships sufficiently concrete.

If these same techniques were used within a more complex and textured
stage, they would be much more powerful. Sitting at your desk, you
know pretty much where everything is and muscle memory short-circuits
the need for explicit visual searches. A large stage with differences
in colour, texture, elevation would make BumpTop easier to use.

I have played around with various 3D Finder replacements on the Mac
over the years but I am still not convinced they make it easier to
deal with large numbers of objects - the sorts of tasks computers are
generally most useful for.

A very interesting experiment which I feel is more directly relevant
(and very cool) is one shown here:

Implemented on a PDA with a reasonable size screen, it could be very
effective. A serious amount of horsepower will be needed but it's
coming down the road sometime soon.


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Received on Fri Jun 23 18:35:08 2006

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