I'm not usually susceptible to the charms of corporate agitprop, but this bit from a zooming browser company named ZenZui caught my eye:

In the future, when anthropologists look back at the evolution of personal computing technologies, desktop computing will be viewed as a mere footnote to the cultural, technical, and sociological impact of mobile devices.

I've been intrigued by zooming browsers since I read about them in Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface (he ends the book with a chapter about the virtues of zooming browsers) and saw one at Groxis, then a startup then led by Paul Hawken (and now, shed of all its original founders, pursuing a strategy best described as inscrutable). The virtues of a zooming interface are pretty clear, and a well-designed one (like the old Grokker app, alas no longer available) is a real pleasure to watch.

Grokker is now presenting itself as an enterprise KM tool, a way to make sense of giant volumes of information; ZenZui is going in a completely different direction, to mobile devices. In a small space, with limited ability to interact with an input device (or little interest in doing so), it's an obvious way to go. A couple mobile devices have used them– I had a beloved Sony PDA that had one, but it wasn't the main interface for the whole device– but we still have yet to see a popular application, either on the desktop or handheld, that uses zooming. Strange.

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