A Look at the Future?

It’s not always the case that we get a chance to look at the future but we just might – if we act on it quickly.

A message passed through the Twitter stream yesterday indicating that Google had acquired Bumptop.  Now, this normally would just be something that passes my way, I read it, smile, and then move on.  But, I had played with Bumptop a while ago.  I’d also seen the TED talk about it.

At the time that I had first looked at it, I played a bit and then decided it wasn’t for me.  My computing past goes back to when you actually had to know exactly where your files are stored.  I knew the difference between a C drive and an H drive.  I could create directories to store files and I knew how to organize them alphabetically or chronologically.

I was slow to use the concept of a “folder” on my computer.  I wanted to know exactly where my files were stored by understanding the exact address to the file.  (I still do like to look at the full pathname just for confidence)  The Macintosh user interface took a while to get used to.  Actually quite a while  just to ensure that I knew where everything was.

So, it was with this baggage that I really didn’t cotton up to the concept of Bumptop.

But times do change.  Things are for the better.  Folder and sub-folders are second nature and it’s how we all organize our digital lives and it’s for the good.  The iPod adds a further concept to navigation on a computing device.  Flicking and swiping and pinching are all terms and techniques that are like second nature to those using these devices.  If you’re using this technology, then you’re quite comfortable with the manipulation of screen objects with your finger.

Maybe it is time for another look at Bumptop?  After all, the news that Google had acquired the product is intriguing.  Unless you’ve been ignoring it, terms like Google Chrome OS, Android and Google Slate are terms that you run into daily.  Could this acquisition signal what the user interface for any or all of these products might be?

I don’t know — does this encourage a messy desktop so that you have stuff to shuffle?

You can check it out for yourself.  Bumptop Free is available for a free download for the next week.  Grab and explore a copy while you can.  Could you be looking at the future?

links for 2010-05-02