Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Intelligent Machines

Messy PCs

Program makes the virtual desktop like a paper-strewn office.

For those who prefer messes, there’s now a program that turns the PC desktop into the equivalent of the paper-strewn office. Abandoning ­folders ­within folders, the new approach, called BumpTop, uses paperlike icons that can be scattered, stacked, or stuck to virtual walls. The brainchild of Anand Agarawala, a former computer science graduate student at the University of Toronto, BumpTop borrows animation techniques from video-game development, and the icons move as if they were subject to real gravity, momentum, and friction. “The ‘PC desktop’ was supposed to be a meta­phor for managing our files,” says ­Agarawala. “But my real desk looks nothing like my desktop.” He has cofounded a startup in Toronto to commercialize his technology.

People who use Anand Agarawala’s Bumptop PC interface can be as messy or as organized as they want, leaving file icons in jumbled piles or arranging them in tidy stacks.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Online Only.
  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.