Origins and Introductions

Hello, Rumpus.

john underkoffler
February 13, 2019

We’re on the verge of something fantastic.

At Oblong, our passion for the products we build has always come from a conviction around the power and potential of new UI. And in particular what gets us going is a bunch of UI principles that interlock to make true collaboration work: spatial and gestural interaction, concurrent input and control, multiple simultaneous content streams, fluid layout and manipulation of these streams across arbitrary and scalable display geometries, etc. All these principles derive directly from the real world and how people have always worked there.

When we talk about true collaboration, what we mean is something like a tech-assisted mind meld—the kind of brain overlap between you and other team members that makes working together simply exhilarating, because you share so much cognitive context that you can jointly move incredibly fast.

We’ve always built systems and products (usually at large scale) that enable this style of work.

But for the vision of new-UI-backed true collaboration to be fully realized, there’s one more thing we need to achieve. That’s ubiquity. It can’t be that ‘collaboration’ happens through an application you fire up once in a while or only through a special piece of hardware. Collaboration has to become a basic property of computation itself, built into every device and every OS, so that ‘always-there collaboration’ is the correct expectation of working with every digital system.

Now we’re about to take the first big step toward that ubiquity.

Rumpus will introduce deep-context collaboration to every laptop in the world.

Along the way, we’ve built a new category of UI (in addition to all the transformative UI stuff we’ve always worked with) a set of techniques that aims to put back some of the subtle, non-verbal human cues that are critical to collaboration and that you get for free when you’re all in the same room,  but that get lost when you’re not face-to-face… perhaps until now.

More on that—and on everything else we’re doing and learning around Rumpus—in future posts.

Right now, we’re strapping in; the countdown to launch has begun, and there’s plenty of room aboard for you if you’re interested. The ride is going to be unbelievably exciting!