Space Time 3D is a web browser that displays multiple web pages simultaneously in a 3D space, allowing for the simultaneous browsing of multiple web pages and the navigation of web pages as objects in a 3D virtual space.
What is 3D web surfing, you ask? For Space Time it is essentially the ability to overlay multiple web pages in a 3D space such that the content is viewable (if not outright readable) simultaneously for multiple web pages. Your vantage point in relation to these 3D pages is dynamic and changeable; you can zoom in and out, above and below and all around. Depending on where you are and the proximity of the page or pages, the content on a web page is either readable or at least recognizable in some way to allow for a decision as to whether or not the content is relevant to what the user is looking for.
The 3D browsing experience: Space Time offers 4 types of pre-packaged browsing experiences: Search, Image Search, Ebay Search, and Tabbed browsing; although really I would say the first 3 are virtually identical in that Space Time will display the results of the search (whether an internet search, image search, or ebay search) in a handily browsable stack (limited to 10 pages of results at a time per stack; you can use a navigation bar to move to the next set of 10 results). Tabbed browsing is also similar, but different only insofar as any web page that you open is created in virtual space adjacent to the original page, and both are readily visible to the user. Navigation: All objects in Space Time are suspended in a cloudy blue sky. You can use the mouse scroll wheel to quickly scroll back and forth across pages, or you can navigate to and around objects using the arrow keys. Pressing CTRL while using the arrow keys will make them operate in a parallel dimension (i.e. the up arrow, for example, will move you forward toward an object when pressed on its own, but will lift you upwards when CTRL is pressed concurrently). Pressing SHIFT seems like it was intended to speed up movement, but did not seem to work properly. Note that there are several movement options aside from flying such as sliding, walking, jumping, and others that you could choose from.
All visited pages are deposited somewhere in the cloudy blue sky, and unless you pro-actively decide to close a page or pages you can make your way back to them if you need to; alternately, you can use the ’reset scene’ context command to clear up the environment. However, there are 2 nifty navigation controls available: A transparent navigation bar of sorts towards the bottom of the screen (which I previously alluded to), which features thumbnails of the web pages in the virtual space and is rather cool; also, there is navigation bar that can be launched the left of the screen and can be used to click on (or remove) the page that you are interested in.
Interacting with a page: Once (and when) you settle on a page you can double click on it in order to ’maximize’ it to screen, at which point it essentially turns into a typical 2D page similar to any browser. Interestingly, I was able to interact with and use AJAX based sites flawlessly without problems; which suggests to me that if you really wanted to you just might be able to actually use this program for browsing rather than simply as an interesting novelty (however, I would advise waiting till the program is past the beta version for this).
Errors and beta: this beta version predictably had a few bugs that I encountered; the cloudy sky background took over my computer whenever Space Time was launched, replacing my wallpaper and spilling onto other open apps and the program right-click context menu flickered uncontrollably, making it almost unusable. The internet is littered with sites that have minor errors in their HTML code (Freewaregenius being one of them), and whenever Space Time would encounter one an error dialog would pop up asking if you wanted to debug (just click no); in contrast, IE and Firefox simply display a discreet “page loaded with some errors” or somesuch message that doesn’t interfere with your browsing experience.
The verdict: I like this program; initially, I thought it would be no more than an interesting toy similar to uBrowser, but it more of a serious program than that, and is probably a preview of what future browsers will look like. I won’t be using this browser to browse the internet anytime soon but am giving it 5 starts because it is quite an interesting and original program. Download and try it you will probably like it.
Version tested: 0.9 beta
Compatibility: Windows 2000/XP/Vista. Requires 128MB plus 3D Capable Graphics Adapter; Pentium 4, 2.4GHz or AMD 2400xp+ CPU.
visit the program home page.