A year ago the BumpTop virtual desktop software left many people in an "I want it" frame of mind. I was surely one of those people as the demonstration showed files being thrown around the desktop just as you would in real life. You could crumple icons up like a piece of paper, sprawl pictures across a desk, and organize everything into tidy stacks with just a few clicks.




So now here we are, a year later, and we don’t have this in our hands. Don’t worry, the project is still very much alive as we saw at at the TED conference:

I still have a hard time comprehending whether this would be useful for me when organizing the things on my desktop. It’s one of those things that has an amazing demonstration, but can it be put to practical use?

One thing that bothers me a little bit is that you have to identify your files by the icons, since there are no filenames being displayed for them. I guess that they could go the route of a real desktop and allow previews of files, for example, if you hover over them with your mouse. Most operating systems now have the capabilities of generating these previews so that shouldn’t be too horrible to integrate.

The other thing that I would like to see is an option to create multiple rooms. Each demonstration that I’ve seen only includes one room that the user has to organize files, but it would be nice to have a separate room for photos, another for videos, and then one for my files. That way I have even more organizational power.

So now that you’ve seen another demo of BumpTop, what do you think? Is this something that can really takeoff or is it doomed to failure?