Software That Organizes Intelligently
Smart Desktop automatically groups documents and communications by project.
By Erica Naone
Credit: Technology Review
The heaps of information piling up virtually on today’s computers present a major organizational problem for many people. A soon-to-be-released product called Smart Desktop, from a division of Seattle-based company Pi Corporation, aims to help people sort that information automatically and intelligently.
"People’s lives are inherently complex, and so everyone, no matter what their job description, has to break their lives into a series of manageable chunks," says Jon Herlocker, vice president of engineering and CTO of Pi’s Smart Desktop division. "Those chunks become the context in which things get worked on." Smart Desktop is designed, accordingly, to group information by project. But the software does far more than put all your Word and Excel documents in one folder. Normally, information is stored in separate applications: important URLs might be saved in Firefox’s Web history, for example, while e-mails are stored in Outlook. Smart Desktop unifies the information into a single view. When the system understands that a user is working on a particular project, it will bring together related files and e-mails, and it will also bring related, newly arriving e-mails to the user’s attention.
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