While we're sitting around complaining about the lack of innovative user interfaces and experiences in modern consumer electronics, a man named Barton Smith is actually doing something about it. In 2008 the industrial designer hatched a concept for an OS called Locus which completely upends many of the use paradigms we're familiar with in current desktop or mobile operating environments. Besides looking absolutely beautiful, a major chunk of the Locus concept focuses around the idea of having separate, easily accessible workspaces for different settings, such as on a train, at home, while out with friends, etc. Each of those scenarios is stored in a set of "panels" which can change based on geolocation or by user choice, and has its own combination of desktop arrangement and application shortcuts. Locus also incorporates a Zune-like content browsing interface, and a project management UI based around real world interactions (something like BumpTop, but cleaner). The whole concept is slickly put together and well thought out... but it doesn't just end with the software. Smith envisions this platform running on another concept of his: a portable computer called Stream. Stream would be a small, modular tablet / mobile device which can be docked in a variety of components, thus changing its functionality (along with Locus). It's fascinating stuff, for sure, and doubly intriguing considering Barton began developing these concepts so long ago (though the video below is brand new). Now where is the super-rich partner this guy needs to make this thing a reality?

Update: As noted in comments, Microsoft branding is shown at the start of this video, but this is not a Microsoft product -- it seems Barton added the name and logo for effect.

Update 2: Barton Smith got in touch to fill us in on the Microsoft logo at the beginning of the video. In his words: "The reason for the Microsoft branding is because it was originally going to be for the Microsoft next Gen computer comp from 2008." Well, there you go!


Locus OS concept video shows the future of computing... right now