In a surprise announcement Friday, popular 3D desktop software firm, Bump Top revealed it had been acquired by Google. 3 years ago, the company founder, Anand Agarawala discussed their innovative interface at the 2007 TED Conference.
Built for Macs as well as Windows PC’s, Bump Top re-imagines the computer desktop as a three-dimensional desk-like space filled with icons and images piled up on the surface and pinned to the virtual walls. Agarawala at the time, famously described his interface as designed to “(move away from the) same old crap.”
With Google acquiring Bump Top, the speculation begins as to how the company may integrate this 3D environment into their existing product line. The Android mobile OS is a natural fit, initially launching on smartphones, but eventually making its way into the inevitable Android-powered tablets that are on the near horizon. The Bump Top multi-touch interface would allow Google to better compete with Apple whose multi-touch on the iPhone, iPod and recently released iPad are the industry benchmark.
It’s difficult to describe the benefits of Bump Top without seeing it in action. If you head over to YouTube.com, you can watch a demonstration of Bump Top at the 2007 TED Conference. It’s quite amazing and you can see just how useful this powerful interface would be on a tablet-sized device. Personally, I’m not sure if the desktop-interface concept would necessarily translate well to a smaller smartphone screen, but perhaps a scaled-down version may be just what’s needed for mobile users.
The company has announced that the software will no longer be available for sale and no updates to the products are planned. However, for a limited time, they’re leaving their download area available for the remainder of the week. Act quickly, if you’re interested in getting a glimpse of what Bump Top can do for your Mac or PC, this is your last chance to grab a free copy.