Cooliris: 3D Web BrowsingCooliris allows users to surf the Web within a 3D environment. More specifically, a "3D wall" displays images and videos that allows users to easily navigate with beautiful transitional and scrolling effects. In essence, Cooliris is eye-candy. Users can perform typical searches for images and videos and Cooliris returns the results, displaying them on the "3D wall." Unfortunately, the service does not work with every search engine and media site, but the list is respectable. The following services are supported by Cooliris, but perhaps there will be more added in the future: Google, Yahoo, Flickr, SmugMug and DeviantArt. In addition, Cooliris has an interesting "Discover" feature that pulls content from various sites. This content is then organized in categories like news, politics, tech, sports and more. So if your favorite sports team won last night, you can be sure to see beautiful images and video of the event. So, is Cooliris cool? It is one of the most ambitious extensions that we have ever seen for Web browsers. But beyond presenting information in a new and visually pleasing way, there isn't much more that can be said about Cooliris. A CNET video about Cooliris (Flash intensive) might help clear things up a bit.
An iPhone ApplicationHow does Cooliris fare on the iPhone? It may have a far better reception from its user base on the iPhone than on a computer. Why? -- the ability to touch, swipe and scroll through content with the touch-screen interface. What better way is there to navigate such a visually focused application than using your fingers to get the Minority Report effect going on?
Apple also features some of the slickest and most beautiful applications around. Cooliris compliments the iPhone well in that regard. It is also very similar to the browser plugin -- the only difference is that Cooliris is squeezed down to a much smaller screen resolution.
The "Discover" feature mentioned earlier also makes an appearance on the iPhone and is probably the most important feature for the mobile version. How many people will be inclined to perform dedicated searches within Cooliris on a mobile device when they could just as easily perform them within the mobile Safari browser? The "Discovery" mode provides a unique feature and reason to use Cooliris. Fortunately, the development team has hinted towards new features that will be added to the iPhone application in the future. It is unclear what those features will be, but anything that adds additional functionality to compliment the viewing experience would surely be welcomed. Anyone interested in trying Cooliris can download it to iTunes from the Cooliris Web site. Also, there is a nice video demonstration of the iPhone application on the Web site as well.