Zumobi Beta Opens

Zumobi (neé Zenzui) is a project spun out of Microsoft. It's a thumbable/keypad tile interface that's somewhere between browser and widget system - you can easily click on “zones” to zoom in and out to “tiles” that are basically web-based widgets for stuff like weather and news and Family guy and ...and it's a little tough to explain. Go take a peek at the Demo. Fortunately, such explanations aren't strictly necessary, as the Zumobi Beta has just opened! There are a couple of caveats, though:

To participate in the Zumobi Beta you’ll need the following:- A U.S.A. mobile phone number- A data plan with your mobile phone service provider (we strongly recommend this be an unlimited data plan)- A mobile phone running Windows Mobile 5 or 6

They also recommend you stick to using it on a Q, BlackJack (1), Dash, or Touch, but feel free to give it a try on whatever. It's a beta, of course, so caveat emptor and all that. They'll appreciate the feedback you can give 'em, though, and hopefully it'll catch on enough to get folks developing those tiles/widgets.

Read: Zumobi Beta Signup

WC Staff
1 Comment
  • You know... I was thinking about zoomable interfaces the other day, and I figured that it would be really cool to be able to dynamically scale any application in a window.
    What I'm thinking about is basically a scalable VNC without the whole network part in the middle. The application may ask for a window that is larger than the viewable resolution. The actual display will display the application as zoomed fully out, 1:1 pixels (or maybe magnified?), or anywhere in-between. The ability to do such things is already in several applications for various systems... the trick is to hook it up to the window API (or whatever it's called... I do development on network devices and unfortunately have no extra time to develop apps for smartphones).
    Even more trick would be the control over what's currently in view. At a very basic level and assuming that this is controlled by a touchscreen, to zoom in you would press a button (or something) that indicates you're using the zoom feature (since you wouldn't want to confuse it with other operations), and then draw a box (corner to opposite corner) that fits what you want to see. While in zoom mode, you could drag your finger or stylus on the screen to move what the zoomed section is looking at.
    The last trick (OK, I've overused that word now) would be to make the window aware of the changes to automatically change what is being viewed... kinda like the text box I'm using knows to scroll while I'm typing. Instead of just scrolling up and down, the zoomed window could scroll wherever needed (up, down, left, right). This mode might be good to leave as an option to the user.
    Now... imagine this being an available library for any application... ooh, I'd like to see that.
    OK... back to your regularly scheduled programming... I got carried away when I saw the word "zoom".