updated 5/3/2012 11:15:40 AM ET 2012-05-03T15:15:40

One weekend in April, Ishac Bertran called up some articles on his computer that he wanted to save to his Kindle, to read later. It takes a few steps to do so, however, so he didn't end up doing it. "Just thinking about all the necessary procedures made me rule out the idea,"  he blogged  a couple days later.

That got him thinking about ways to make it easier to transfer files between devices. He imagined a world in which people could transfer files by touching the side of one device to another. A white circle that crossed both devices' screens would show that the devices were connected. Then users could drag files into the circle to move them onto the other device. He made a video to demonstrate his idea:

The actual data transfer would happen over a cloud service, like the services that power Dropbox or Apple's iCloud. But what the user sees looks like a physical movement, so it feels intuitive and easy, blogged Bertran, who works as an engineering consultant in Barcelona, Spain. 

He was inspired by devices that are aware when other devices are nearby, such as  Sifteo Cubes he told Co.Design. Indeed, one of the most charming parts of Sifteo Cubes' demo videos is when a little purple penguin walks from the screen of one of the cubes to another the moment the two cubes touch — a small precursor to the idea of transferring files across devices' edges. 

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