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Just One Question for Harlan Hugh
Mar 11, 1998 :: Michael Sippey

Harlan Hugh is the 23-year old creator of The Brain, the mind mapping tool I dissected just two days ago. Harlan was kind enough to answer my one question...

MS: After a few weeks of fairly heavy Brain usage, I'm still impressed with the UI and its ability to help me maintain snippets of data -- whether those snippets are bookmarks, pointers to local files or random lines of text. But I'm already itching for a better Brain, one that actually does more than help me organize, but also helps me think -- helps me understand my information consumption patterns and make (or suggest) connections between different types of data. It seems to me that a highly evolved Brain would incorporate not only the UI of the current brain, but something akin to Apple's VTwin engine. Are there plans to integrate The Brain with an indexing and retrieval tool, or to build one on your own?

HH: The Brain is a fundamentally different kind of interface and has unlocked a lot of potential for the computer. We are only at the start of a road which leads to many new innovations and enhancements. The Brain today is a vast improvement over the conventional file and folder interface, but the future of Brain technology is just as exciting. What seems to have captured the imagination of many of our users is the application of artificial intelligence to The Brain.

While we are far away from making the computer think for you, there are many planned improvements to The Brain that will tailor the relationships and display of your thoughts based on the way you work. The small changes that The Brain can easily make to your information interface will quickly add up to a significant benefit to you. Right now, The Brain already incorporates some of this tracking - for instance, you can easily see what you have been working on and how much time you have spent on different thoughts within the past hour, day, week, or even month.

Regarding indexing... One of the core goals of The Brain's design is to enable you to create, work, and navigate in context of the information that you are focused on. However, in addition to contextual navigation, The Brain incorporates a lot of automatic indexing that allows you to go directly to any thought simply by typing its name. Indexing also enables viewing your thoughts alphabetically and by the type of content - instantly. In the future, the indexing capability will be vastly improved. The ability to index the contents of the files that are contained in a Brain is a natural extension of the product.

There has been virtually no improvement to our information interfaces since the release of the Macintosh in 1984. Natrificial is changing that with The Brain and is committed to continuing to innovate and improve the way you work with your computer.



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