by Rael Dornfest
Anyone reading Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface has to find themselves more than a little intrigued by his description of ZoomWorld. Assuming access to "an infinite plane of information having infinite resolution," ZoomWorld raises you above of the tedious maze of file-systems, networked drives, and internetworked Websites, affording you a bird's eye-view of everything at your disposal. Zoom in on that sticky-note. Zoom out for a composite view of the project at hand.
Lest you think this just a fanciful vision...
I found a gaggle of folks flocking around a laptop during one of the breaks at our recent O'Reilly P2P & Web Services Conference babbling excitedly about leaning in, clicking on, and zooming out. They were fiddling with Looking Glass, a forthcoming product
Cincro, a company initially focused on R&D for the defence and intelligence communities.
"Looking Glass presents a zoomable canvas where users can drag and drop many different data types (including large digital photos) and provides the novel concept of an infinitely large Web space where users can organize their information in a spatially intuitive manner." Wait, it gets better... Cincro extends the ZoomWorld concept into P2P-space with real-time collaboration, object-level security, and plans for layer-based versioning and time-travel.