Collaboration platforms are generally PC or web-based affairs that are built around office productivity tools, such as word-processing and spreadsheet applications. Swiss tech outfit Dizmo is raising funds to make collaboration a more tactile and versatile experience. Dizmo is an interface that lets users work together across different devices in the same digital space.

According to the company, Dizmo was conceived as a means of enriching real-time collaboration in the classroom, boardroom and office. When used with a smart display or touch surface, Dizmo allows users to pull-up different "digital gizmos" (or dizmos), which are similar to Android-style widgets, move them around the screen, resize and manipulate them.

The Zurich-based firm contends that many of the things we previously used as physical objects, such as photos, maps, phone-books and encyclopedias, have been digitized and are now primarily used on PCs or mobile devices. Dizmo versions of these objects, it says, provide collaborators with a simple and intuitive means of using them in the digital space, while being able to manipulate them.

Any variety and number of dizmos can be added to the "Dizmo Space," in which users can zoom and move around with familiar gestural controls. Dizoms can also be synchronized, moved and shared between multiple devices, either in the same room or remotely. The result is a versatile and interactive digital space that is well suited to real-time multi-tasking and/or collaboration situations, such as brainstorming meetings or classroom lessons.

As an example, Dizmo describes a scenario in which someone might load up its interface to use a recipe book while preparing a meal and, at the same time, follow friends on Twitter, keep an eye on the baby monitor, check the front door webcam, catch up with the latest news, and make a video call – all on the same screen or surface.

Developers can create new dizmos using the SDK and API provided. The platform is written in optimized C++ and based on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. It will be available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and is compatible with Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Early bird backers on Kickstarter can pledge US$25 for the dizmo digital workspace, a set of widgets created by the company and an SDK to develop their own. If all goes according to plan, delivery is expected to start in June.

Watch the pitch video below for more information about Dizmo.

Sources: Dizmo, Kickstarter

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