Bump Technologies Inc, founded at the Department of Computer Science (DCS) at the University of Toronto is the success story of an innovative master’s thesis turned entrepreneurial venture. The unique startup was recently purchased by the California-based search engine giant, Google.
The company’s product, BumpTop, is a physically-realistic desktop with multi-touch capabilities for desktop and mobile interaction that was invented and developed by Anand Agarawala and his advisor Professor Ravin Balakrishnan in 2004 during Agarawala’s graduate studies at DCS.
BumpTop incorporates physics simulation, new organizational metaphors like piling of documents, and multi-touch interaction into a broad range of applications such as the desktop and emerging interaction platforms.
After graduating, Agarawala brought BumpTop to the next level and not only enhanced the features of the software but grew his startup with angel and venture capital, eventually leading to the company’s purchase by Google.
Craig Boutilier, Chair of DCS, sums up the excitement within the department, “We are extremely proud of the success of BumpTop and continue to encourage our researchers to share with the world the many cutting-edge ideas and technologies generated and incubated within our department.” Some up and coming DCS startups that are expected to command attention within the technology industry include: Sysomos (www.sysomos.com), GridCentric (www.gridcentric.ca), Cognovision Solutions (www.cognovision.com [www.cognovision.com]) and Arcestra (www.arcestra.com [www.arcestra.com]).