Windowshop.com is a new site introduced late last week which allows you to virtually browse through the best-selling Amazon.com products in various categories. You can scroll through the content and zoom in and out on product previews in a style that very much reminds of how the Cooliris browser plugin works. With Windowshop.com, you can virtually "window shop" the latest and greatest in Amazon.com books, music, videos, and games.Amazon's
On Windowshop.com, you can either use your mouse or the arrow keys (the keyboard works better) to scroll through a wall of Amazon.com content which includes both best-sellers and new releases in Books, Music, Video, and Games categories. After you zoom in on an item, a preview will play. For an album, that preview is just a snippet of a song; for an audiobook, it's a snippet of the narrator reading the content; for video content like movies, TV shows, and games, you'll see a video clip displayed instead.
The content is sorted into different scrollable columns with column labels at the top describing the items below. There are columns with both the best-sellers and new items for each category, but there are also Editor's Picks and "Best-Selling of All Time" categories, too. As new content is added to the site every Tuesday, the older content is moved to the right, which keeps the Windowshop.com product list in chronological order.
Cooliris Should Be Flattered
The Windowshop site is so much like a Cooliris-enabled web page, that it had us scanning for a "powered by Cooliris" logo somewhere on the site. The scrolling, zoomable wall of content is very similar to what the Cooliris plugin provides. It seems the entire site has been inspired by the technology if it doesn't, in fact, actually use it to power the virtual "windowshopping" itself.
It's interesting that this site was created only a few months after Amazon.com became Cooliris-enabled themselves, with their own Amazon category underneath the Discover/Shopping feature within the Cooliris browser. There, you can scroll through several other categories of content like Home & Garden, Baby, Electronics, the Kindle Store, and more. You can also sort the content displayed by price, popularity, or relevance. The Cooliris wall also has a nifty 3D effect when scrolled, where the Windowshop.com wall stays very much 2D.
Still, the Winodwshop site is another good alternative to visually browsing the best from Amazon.com, even if it is just a tribute to Cooliris's technology. You know what they say about imitation...
We've seen more of these types of visual browsing technologies pop-up this year, from ManagedQ's semantic Google-based search to Photo Stream's visual newsroom and, more recently, to new search engines like Viewzi and SearchMe. We wonder: will 2008 be remembered as the year visual search took off?