A Xerox New Enterprise Company

VizControls™ Technology

User Interface Components for Exploring Large Amounts of Information

If as they say, half your brain is your eyes, why not use that half? Research at Xerox PARC over the last ten years has focused on exploiting our perceptual abilities by using state of the art 2-D and 3-D graphics and animation to provide new ways of making sense of large amounts of information. Our products package these solutions as software components that can be quickly integrated into your software and information products. Our products provide benefits to the end user, the business that employ them, software producers and content providers.

Our visualization components, which can be incorporated singly or together, provide many varied ways of viewing thousands of data points, documents, or information objects of any kind according to the needs of your application. Three visualizations are ready for immediate integration into your software products and solutions. Many others are currently in the research and product pipeline.

Take a closer look at three Visualization Technologies from InXight:

Hyperbolic Tree Icon Hyperbolic Tree

Navigate around hierarchies a hundred or even a thousand times as big as what conventional views can deal with. Simply click and drag to dynamically warp the display to gain a new perspective on different portions of the hierarchy. Applications include document repositories, parts assemblies, class hierarchies, world-wide web link structures, category hierarchies, decision trees and network hierarchies.

Table Lens Icon Table Lens

Make sense of large tables by viewing 100 times the information that a normal spreadsheet view will allow. The Table Lens fuses symbolic and graphical representations into a single understandable view that can be fluidly adjusted by the user. Sort on a column and relationships between variables 'pop out' for the user to see.

Cone Tree Icon Cone Tree

Organize vast numbers of files or documents in a tree structure. Display an entire 80-page organization chart on a single screen, move names, view the changes in reporting structures in real-time or browse any other large hierarchy all at once by wrapping it in a 3-D cone. 3-D is used to make more effective use of available screen space. Select a node and the relevant branches of the tree highlight and rotate smoothly to become front and center.

Perspective Wall Icon Perspective Wall

Enable users to organize and view vast amounts of linear information or documents. You can arrange documents along the x-axis according to a linear criterion, such as date, and along the y-axis by any other criterion, say, file type, author or subject to reveal patterns and relationships. Simply click on objects and the wall moves into focus to home in on the specific clusters of documents or data of interest.

Benefits of the New User Interface

Corporate Users, Businesses, Software Producers, and Information Publishers can all benefit from out VizControls UI Components.

How Corporate Users Benefit

If as they say, half your brain is your eyes, why not use that half? Our eyes and our brain have been tuned by thousands of years of evolution for rapidly picking out edges and curves and points that stick out. For tracking moving objects and forming a continuous view of reality. InXight VizControls exploit these skills to allow you to see large amounts of information:

  • to spot meaningful properties of the information, patterns and trends as well as aberrations and abnormalities
  • to focus on specific items of information placed in the broad context of the entire collection
  • to navigate around and explore large collections of information and quickly learn what is there and where things are
  • to share and communicate your knowledge of information spaces and structures in ways that others can quickly understand and learn

In short, visualizations allow users to make sense of information so they can focus on achieving their real objectives, efficiently, effectively.

How Businesses Benefit

For years we have been shoving stuff into computers. It's time to start getting stuff out. A great challenge for today's businesses is taking advantage of its information and knowledge resources, which really means enabling employees, yes people, to more productively deal with the large amounts of information that has become today's reality. The winners will be those companies that seek out applications and solutions that provide user interfaces that gracefully, powerfully deal with all that information. That increase the business's return on information. And who do you think may provide those applications and solutions? You as software producers and information publishers.

How Software Producers Benefit

The GUI paradigm has hit the wall. Our research buddies at PARC call it the WIMP paradigm (for Windows, Icons, Mice, Pull-down menus) despite PARC's role in creating it in the first place. They moved on to inventing new interface techniques that scale to dealing with thousands, even millions, of objects at a time. We have packaged these powerful new ideas as software components that you can rapidly integrate into your products and solutions without jeopardizing your development schedules. And over time, we will bring out other plug-compatible visualization components provided by PARC research.

How Information Publishers Benefit

You sell information. You get paid if people use your information. If people can't understand the full range and nature of information you make available, then they won't utilize your information as much as they might otherwise. Thus providing navigation aids like overviews is as important as providing search aids which allow finding specific items of information that are known to be there. In addition, visualization technology can be combined with search technology in ways that makes it easier to find objects when it is hard to characterize them with simple boolean or keyword queries.

InXight is a Xerox New Enterprise Company.
InXight, LinguistX, VizControls and Xerox are trademarks of Xerox Corporation. All other products are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © Xerox Corporation 1996. For more information about InXight products, please call us at 415.852.0290 or send us an email at info@inxight.com.