Microsoft spinoff ZenZui's "Zooming User Interface"

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|03.27.07

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In this article: content, mobile, tile, tiles, zenzui, zoom, zooming, zui
Borne of Microsoft Research, newly-announced ZenZui is coming out of stealth mode at CTIA this week to introduce what we think is a fairly novel approach to mobile content browsing -- a concept ZenZui calls the "Zooming User Interface" (hence the "Zui" part of the name). The concept sorta has to be seen to be fully appreciated (we intend to do a full hands-on from the show floor here before too long), but essentially, ZenZui uses an array of extremely easy to browse content "tiles" that can be zoomed in and out using numeric keypad presses. The tiles themselves -- which can be anything from news, to traffic, to mini-games, to whatever -- are developed with an open API, encouraging developers large and small to get involved. They can be sent and received in a "viral" fashion from other ZenZui users, and since everyone's getting paid based on the ad revenue their tiles generate, it's a pretty happy ecosystem (theoretically, anyway). Since it's coming outta Redmond, Windows Mobile is obviously the initial target, though other platforms are in the works. Expect a beta later this year with availability directly from ZenZui and its content partners.
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