The Desktop of the Future

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 18, 2006
Updated • May 13, 2013

This is a video from the dynamic graphics project at the University of Toronto named: Keeping it Real: Pushing the Desktop Metaphor with Physics, Piles and the Pen in BumpTop. Big title, ain't it ? What they did is project the concept of the normal desktop, the real one not the one from your computer, to your computer by making it 3 dimensional. Files are shown as three dimensional items as well that can be placed on top of each other, sorted, deleted and manipulated manifold.

You can pin files on walls, make them bigger to give them more weight and importance (smaller files have troubles moving bigger files). Everything looks really intuitive, easy and strangely familiar. Will everyone be using this kind of 3D desktops in the future or will this remain what it is right now, an experiment..

Update: The original video has been removed from the Internet, and we have removed it from this article as a consequence. We have found another video that is highlighting what BumpTop is all about.

Update: In 2010, Google acquired BumpTop, the company and its technologies, and soon thereafter, nothing was heard from the idea again. You can still read the official announcement of the acquisition on the BumpTop website where it is still available as the only content.

Today, we have a big announcement to make: we're excited to announce that we've been acquired by Google! This means that BumpTop (for both Windows and Mac) will no longer be available for sale. Additionally, no updates to the products are planned.

For the first week of May 2010, we kept BumpTop Free available for download to give BumpTop fans one last chance to grab a copy. BumpTop is now no longer available for free download.

Thanks again for all your support over the years. Despite our change in strategy, we remain as passionate as ever about helping shape the future of computing!

Google until now, that is June 2012, has not used the technology in any of its products.


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  1. Tobey said on September 25, 2006 at 4:40 pm


  2. irish said on September 18, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    It looks very clever, i like it.

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