Microsoft's Live Labs division demonstrated a new technology called Pivot today at PDC 2009.
Microsoft Technical Fellow Gary Flake revealed Pivot as a standalone application based on Microsoft's established Seadragon and Deep Zoom technologies. The application highlights a new way of searching using a series of linked data. In the session Flake demonstrated Pivot several times and explained that the architecture is simple and based on existing web technologies. The application is a .NET client which uses Seadragon and Deep Zoom collections. Microsoft's trident layout engine (MSHTML) or better known as Internet Explorer is also used in the application.
Pivot functions over HTTP and all the communication works based on how the web is today. In most cases the content is nothing more than files being served by web servers. The interface is impressive and the result is going from many things in a search down to a few things thanks to filtering and being able to see clear patterns amongst that data. Pivots main feature is "collections", they combine large groups of similar items on the Internet, so you can view the relationships between individual pieces of information in a new way. By visualizing hidden patterns, Pivot allows users to interact with thousands of pieces of data in a unique way.
Pivot is available as a limited technical preview at getpivot.com.
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Check out the video below: