A New Dimension This isn't your grandma's 3-D. Goofy glasses are not required--3-D web browsing and search is about viewing 2-D web pages and web images in a 3-D space where they can be layered and searched through.
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Ask.com is touting its Ask3D search, which is more of a different way of organizing search results than an actual 3-D interface. If you have Microsoft's Vista operating system, the much-hyped Aero interface is a better indication of where 3-D is going. Look to the free 3-D browser Space-Time to bring you a more refined vision of this technology.
"Visualization is a natural way to search. We really believe [3-D] is the way people will search and browse in the future," says Eddie Bakhash, founder and CEO of SpaceTime. The browser requires decent computer system resources and benefits from a fast internet connection, but the visual experience is several steps beyond normal web browsing. Search results appear as whole web pages that are stacked into the distance, and users can move between them easily. The browser also has a lot of potential for image and eBay searches--users could flip quickly through pictures to find what they want. Browsing images in this way makes a lot of sense.