Microsoft backed technology Zumobi has finally launched today in beta form. Zumobi started life as ZenZui back in the Microsoft research labs. Zumobi is now a seperate startup company but still has strong roots to Microsoft. Zumobi offers a zooming web interface across a broad range of devices like Apple's iPhone, RIM's Blackberry and Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices. Zumobi does not offer the full web but custom tiles from 3rd parties.
Although the beta is currently US only (you need to supply a US cell number) I have downloaded and used the Zumobi service today on my HTC TyTN II device. Although this is beta, the service seems a little slow and the zooming features aren't always very responsive compared to other Zooming technologies that Opera uses for example. The tiles are excellent and rich in content, I'd love to see them fully support touchflo for Windows Mobile in the future.
Setting up tiles within Zumobi is fairly straight forward as they are pushed to the service and available within an inbox to add to the main wall of tiles. Even though this is early stages, the technology looks promising. Multi platform services like Zumobi are exactly what the industry needs right now and the amount of partners that are getting behind Zumobi (amazon, MTV etc) shows that this could be popular technology.
Screenshot: Zumobi - Main Screen
Screenshot: Zumobi - Inbox for tiles
Screenshot: Zumobi - 1 Level Zoom in
Video: Brief Tour - Neowin
Video: Zumobi Beta Launch - Range of devices
View: Sign up for Zumobi Beta