Monday, February 16, 2009

Interview with Alec Jeong, Cooliris: 3D Immersive Browsing -- Innovators in E-Learning Series

The next new thing in web-browsing will be a 3D immersive experience. That is, at least, what many people believe. The implications for e-learning are interesting -- the kinds of research and resources that will be available with 3D visualizations via one's browser could revolutionize the way we conceive of and display statistics, the earth, and earth processes -- just to name a few. Welcome to an interview with Alec Jeong, whose company, Cooliris (, is pioneering the use of 3D visualization of Web information.

What is your name, your position, and your affiliation and what is your involvement in Cooliris?
My name is Alec Jeong. I lead the marketing communications initiatives at Cooliris, and have been a team member since the company’s inception in 2006.

What is Cooliris (, and what is its mission and vision?
Cooliris, Inc. was founded in January 2006 with a simple mantra: "Think beyond the browser." Our company's flagship product is Cooliris, a free browser add-on that provides a lightning fast, cinematic way to discover the Web. Hailed by the New York Times as the "new immersive approach to Web navigation," Cooliris transforms your browser into an expansive "3D Wall" that lets you browse thousands of photos, videos, and more with superior ease and speed. Cooliris is available for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari (Mac).

What do you identify as the key new trends that have made Cooliris beneficial to people?
Despite the advances in computer technology and the increase in information on the web in the past 10 years, the way people browse the Internet has not evolved at the same pace. Browsing and looking for images, videos, products, and news requires clicking from site to site, page to page—a somewhat tedious and slow process.

Cooliris takes Web-browsing to the next generation, allowing efficient consumption of the vast amount of information on the web. Cooliris lets users easily find and search images and videos within a full-screen, vivid environment. Inline search functionality and the pageless 3D Wall makes visual browsing a fast and more enjoyable process. There’s no need to jump from site to site, or click page by page, nor squint at thumbnail images.

How does Cooliris work? Can you provide one or two examples?
You can use Cooliris in two ways: as a standalone application or as an enhancement to your normal browsing experience.

After installing our free lightweight plugin, you can launch Cooliris by clicking a special Cooliris icon located on your browser toolbar. Once inside Cooliris, you are brought into a full-screen interface where you can easily glide through images and videos on an ever-expanding 3D Wall. An inline search function lets you search across major media sites including Google images, Flickr, YouTube, and Hulu, and a number of others. Cooliris also includes Discover, which lets you watch the latest TV episodes, music videos, and even full-length movies from Hulu. Finally, for those who like to window shop, Cooliris also has a feature that lets you shop for products visually.

You can also use Cooliris directly on hundreds of supported sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, Google Images, or just about any site that uses Media RSS. How it works is that when you visit a supported site, say Google Images for example, a Cooliris icon will appear above images as you mouse over them. Click the icon and Cooliris will quickly display thousands of your search results on the single expansive 3D Wall. (See attached screenshots)

Please describe upcoming activities.
We’ll soon be releasing Cooliris 1.10, which will allow users to browse photos and videos stored on their computer hard drive, among many other useful features and enhancements.

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