Your Desktop is Bumpin'


Anand Agarawala doesn’t look much like Tom Cruise.  But when he sat down in our studio to introduce his new startup piece of software, there was a bit of a “Minority Report” vibe happening.
You may know Anand from his long-running YouTube video, filmed during a previous TED Conference, where he shows off an early version of what is now called “BumpTop.”  And our meeting was very much like the movie, with Anand moving his hands around in the air, flinging applications around much like we saw on the big screen.  I remember seeing the TED video, and wondering just what, if anything, would actually survive the transition from the demo to the real world.
We now know .. quite a few things, actually.  Not enough to owe royalties to DreamWorks or anything, but some cool touch-screen stuff we haven’t really seen before.  Assuming you have a screen that can let your fingers do the working, you can download BumpTop and move files and photos all over the place.  Re-size, flip, upload to Facebook, organize, all with the touch of your finger. 
The app is now a free download for the basic BumpTop, while $29 gets you the primo version with a few extras.  If your screen can’t handle your touch, by the way, you can still use BumpTop, with your mouse.
The big selling point from the (still very small) company is that it will enable you can better organize your files, and send things directly from your desktop to, say, Twitter, just by pushing it over with your finger.  It does look pretty cool, and given what companies like HP and Dell are trying to do with touch-screen laptops and desktops, BumpTop seems like a quick acquisition target for someone hoping to develop that kind of software.
A game changer?  I’m not so sure.  Most of us are accustomed to touching our phones by now, but you still don’t see too many people reaching out and poking their computers in your local coffeeshop.  But, give BumpTop a try.  I’m curious what you think about it — so, ‘bump’ me comment once you’ve given it a test.
[For more Scott Budman tech stories, visit www.nbcbayarea.com]