Thursday, October 25, 2007

Email, now landing on runway 44

Email is never as sexy as it is in the movies. Think of Mission: Impossible, or Disclosure, among others: email there is cool, animated, and very sleek. Sure, there have been some attempts to help out, like IncrediMail, but they are mostly cartoonish and not at all engaging. Not to mention that, if you have email volume anything like mine, it's not even close to realistic.

But help (or hurt?) is on the way! 3D Mailbox, who brought us your email inbox represented as Miami Beach, now introduces Level 2: the LA Airport! Yes, depending on where your email came from, you can see a jumbo jet land in 3d photorealism, along with pilot chatter and more. Want to see Spam eliminated? What's that...a surface to air missile? Email attachment...hey, is that a DHL cargo jet I see taking off?

See for yourself:

Yes, I admit it's hilarious...and horrific...yet oddly compelling. TechCrunch sure hates it, as does CrunchGear. I am inclined to try it, if only for the ATC voiceovers. Years ago, at The Sharper Image, our VP of Loss Prevention (who was also a pilot and former government employee), used to have this screensaver on his computer, which had a simulated ATC display along with precanned pilot chatter. People would come in his office, see the screen, hear the chatter, and stop dead in their tracks. He's calmly look up, look at the screen, and comment, "Oh, I'm just helping out Air Traffic Control on a part time basis." The office visitor would stunned, and eventually retreat. VERY effective way to be productive.

Let's see if 3D Mailbox does the job.

UPDATE: Alas, my laptop is not up to snuff for 3D Mailbox's technical requirements. Actually, neither is my home machine. If I don't even have a good enough machine to run an email program, mich be time to hit up the Dell Outlet...:-)


Max said...

Hey Josh, now you're getting into the right spirit to enjoy this program.

A couple of clarifications:

- There is no surface to air missile to take out spam. I don't know where that rumor started. The spam filter sends spam to the airport boneyard, that's as non-violent as it gets. In this day and age (or any, for that matter), shooting down an airliner for entertainment would be horrific indeed.

- TechCrunch and Crunchgear are two halves of the same egg. For the record, neither actually tried the program out. They simply hate the idea of 3-dimensional mail, and want to kill it. And that's fine; it's not for everyone. 3D Mailbox is like an ice cream cone. You don't absolutely need it (a spoon and bowl would work just fine), but it makes the ice cream that much more enjoyable.

Yuri Tchucnik
3D Mailbox Press Officer

Josh Tretakoff said...

Yuri (Max), thanks for the clarification. I agree, the Crunch guys (as well as many of the other tech blogs) bashed the hell out of you for Level 1...and, IMHO, deservedly so. Miami Beach of Goldfinger days? C'mon... :-)

However, this version definitely gets me in the spirit of the thing. Handling email is like ATC: it's triage.

As to the Spam SAM rumor, sorry to hear it is just a rumor...every tech person I discussed this with agreed that the SAM option for Spam would be the one thing that would change their mind about the program.

Finally, I think you have a great idea, a great vision, and I applaud you for the dogged determination. I wish I could run it on my work laptop! :-)