This 3D demonstration is very intriguing and it makes me wonder if this isn’t what Vista wants to be as far as desktop organization is concerned. The BumpTop Desktop metaphor explores the virtual desktop using physics to simulate how we might toss documents around, group them, or find them on our desk. Rather than using the metaphor of filing documents, the BumpTop simulation piles documents one on top of the other in various groupings.
If you watch the video you’ll notice that this is an ideal metaphor for a Tablet PC and pen, (and I’m guessing touch as well.) and you’ll see some familiar radial-style menus as well. Very intriguing.
The developers (Anand Agarawala and Ravin Balakrishnan) promise a downloadable executable soon.
UPDATE: The more I study this video (and granted it is a video and probably tweaked quite a bit for that medium) the more I’m entranced by this as a desktop metaphor using the pen.