Top 10 specialty Web browsers you may have missed
These oddly useful alternative browsers offer such advantages as 3-D searching, social networking, easy scriptability, and powerful page manipulationFollow @peterwayner
Specialty Web browsers: Browse in 3-D with SpaceTime
In Hollywood, some movie directors create fancy new user interfaces for science fiction movies just so we know we're in the future. After a tough day at the office staring at an inbox that is just a long list, we get to go to the movies that show the future heroes pointing and gesturing as the information floats and bounces across the screen. I'm sure that the future heroes will get the same mixture of spam and depressing credit card bills, but somehow it just looks so much more fun when these messages fly across the screen.
SpaceTime is a browser that brings some of this promise to us now by building an "unlimited 3D space" and floating the data around in these three dimensions. If tabbed browsing arranges your information in one axis along the tab bar, SpaceTime uses three axes.
Is this just eye candy? I suppose it can look like that from time to time, but it offers more than just three dimensions for some websites. The SpaceTime developers tuned the browser to unpack the search results from major sites like eBay, Flickr, and Google into constellations of floating windows. I'm not sure it's perfect, though, because the special feature didn't work with every website I tried.
This will probably be fixed in the future because I found the effect to be captivating, if a bit slicker than I need on a daily basis. But when I come back from the movies and feel like the future isn't arriving fast enough, I can always power up SpaceTime.
SpaceTime renders Web search results in a 3-D space, making it easy to flip through them. This window shows five images from Google's image search in response to the keyword "Baltimore."