New 3-D Web Browsing Tool is Launched

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SpaceTime 1.0, a PC application that allows users to navigate the Web in a three-dimensional environment, launched on January 7.

People can use SpaceTime to look at images, Web pages, videos and more. “It's more fun and more intuitive and more efficient, and that's really the value proposition,” said Eddie Bakhash, CEO of SpaceTime, which is based in New York.

When people traditionally search, their results appear in a list. Then they mine that information by clicking back and forth between the list and the page they're looking for, Bakhash said. In contrast, using a 3-D space is a more natural and faster way to search, he said. It allows people to shuffle through pages like they would through a book, he added.

SpaceTime's navigator feature allows users to zoom, pan, and flip through their search results by using a sidebar control panel. A “savable spaces” feature lets people save the 3-D arrangement of the Web pages so they can return to the same spot at a later time. And, a shopping feature enables users to compare products side-by-side, Bakhash said.

Today, people often have multiple pages open in their browser, which can get confusing. But, in a 3-D environment, people don't have to worry about managing a finite work space.

“It's a great user interface to navigate an otherwise very small space,” Bakhash said, adding that he felt it would be particularly useful for users of ultra mobile devices. Using SpaceTime, people can zoom in and out and change their viewpoint, and it's “true 3-D” in the sense that people can point it in any direction, he continued.

A beta version of SpaceTime was first released last year. Version 1.0 of the software can be downloaded “like a browser” for free at www.spacetime.com, Bakhash said. Right now, the software is only available for PC users, but Mac/Unix and Linux versions are in the works.

“There's definitely a trend in the industry for 3-D,” Bakhash said. “Now 3-D is hitting the desktop and the Web."

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