I am currently at the DeskTop Summit in Berlin and here is a demo of Contour developed by basysKom. It runs as part of Plasma Active which aims at creating a cross-device user experience for emerging devices such as tablet computers, media centers, smartphones, and more.
Contour is still being developed and I can see substantial improvement since I last saw it at the MeeGo Conference in San Francisco where it was a mere few weeks old.
The Concept is based on having different activities or situations which can be accessed by the activity switcher on the right hands side of the screen. So you create an activity like a “Barcelona Trip” and then add small resources like files / contacts or Plasmoids (Widgets). In this way relevant data for that specific activity can always be at hand.
As part of it maturing the activity screen now has movable and expandable boxes or plasmoids. Another new thing is the “recommendation overlay” which is a list of recommendations relating and adapting to the current activity. This is from tracking what documents and applications may be open or important to the user and therefore giving smart recommendations for immediate or future actions.
Contour will contribute a new usage paradigm using adaptive activities and intelligent recommendations. The aim is to create a context-sensitive user interface that adapts to current context, current activities and behavioral patterns of the user. The overall goal is to create a data-centric user interface which is not concerned with applications but rather offers intelligently combined data through a context-sensitive recommendation manager.
Plasma Active runs on the proven Linux desktop stack, including the Linux kernel, Qt and KDE’s Plasma Framework. The user interface is designed using Plasma Quick, a declarative markup language allowing for organic user interface design based on Qt Quick. Plasma Active uses existing Free desktop technology and brings it to a spectrum of devices through a device-specific user interface. Classical Plasma Widgets can be used on Plasma Active as well as newly created ones. The key driver for the development of Plasma Active is the user experience. Collaboration is made easy through high-level development tools and a well defined process.
The first release of Plasma Active fully focuses on tablet computers. Plasma Active Tablet’s user experience is designed around the web, social networks and multimedia content.
Below are useful links for the project: