I recently ran into a great new application called Cooliris (funded by Kleiner Perkins) from a similarly named company in Palo Alto. But much more than just a cool application Cooliris is the pre-cursor to a new way of accessing the internet if the company plays its cards right.
I ran into Cooliris when it first launched because of its initial focus on photography, and since then the company continued to improve its scope dramatically and has quickly become an appealing application to get news presented visually.
Stronger put, I predict that in 5 years from now the browser (like Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer) will not be the predominant way we access the internet. But that perhaps is an easy prediction. The majority of applications on an iPhone already use non-browser access (Facebook, Plaxo, eBay, etc.) and so do a few others on the PC (such as iTunes).
The browser is a very technological way of accessing data on the Internet, with poor navigational attributes. The URL language is undoubtedly not one everyone understands and that relegates the dependency on search, which is still the primary way to navigate the Internet. And as the internet continues to grow in size, the search will yield ever-diminishing navigational success.
More companies are looking to improve Internet navigation. AT&T’s new Pogo browser, Google Chrome, and enhancements to Firefox are an indication of the awareness of the pain. We will see more examples of improved navigational capabilities, some of which I can’t divulge at this point. But until then – enjoy Cooliris.