SpotOn - browser add-on
- — 01 March, 2000 11:09
Using SpotOn, sequences of Web pages can be saved, shared and played back, forming a "tour". The application has navigation buttons which allow you to move to different parts of the tour, and its own bookmark window where tours can be stored.
The idea is that this new technique will provide a handy way for people to organise, share and present Web information, since tours can be passed to others in the form of Web links pointing to the SpotOn server. A retailer, for instance, might create a tour that takes the user through all the pages that contain specials.
The program allows you to highlight any group of links and show the pages in an automatic sequence, which can be quite useful when applied to search engine result pages. It can also schedule pages to be played on a regular basis, and can improve the loading speed of Web pages in a tour by pre-fetching and caching the next ones in the sequence.
On the negative side, the full SpotOn application takes up a lot of screen acreage and has a continuously refreshing ad panel. It delivers pop-up site annotations which can be useful, but also annoying, because they won't go away until you click on them. Tours are not saved locally but on a central server, leading to some privacy and ownership considerations.
The full program currently works only on Internet Explorer, but there is a Lite version compatible with any Java-enabled browser. It presents a plain navigation bar with no flashing ads. It won't let you create your own tours, but if you only want to play them, this is a case where the Lite version of the product is superior to the full version.
SpotOn and SpotOn Lite