Ergo is a new type of search-and-collaboration software that doesn't merely find documents on your desktop or online, but also presents them in an innovative style and allows you to mark up pages to send to other people.
Invu Ergo uses proprietary software to display results, as well as engines such as Microsoft desktop SQL to produce searches.
Installation of the Invu Ergo beta is fairly seamless and the interface is extremely slick and effective: after selecting various search and social-networking sites to use, as well as the desktop, you enter in a word or phrase and the results are displayed in a number of visual formats.
These visual displays, such as 3D cubes, spheres or tree maps, provide an instant cue as to the relevance of Ergo's searches as well as potential links between results.
While the actual process of searching can be quite slow, especially when searching a local hard drive, Ergo is very quick at organising those results into a graphic representation.
These 'intelligroups' mean that information is presented in meaningful and clearly labelled clusters that make it much easier to understand the relations between Ergo's search results.
When you have selected links, these can be previewed from within Ergo or opened in the target application (Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer).
Ergo loads what it calls a Thumbflow carousel, where pages can be scrolled or, alternatively, viewed as a list. In addition, it is possible to annotate pages which can then be saved to disk, printed or emailed to a third party.
Some of these features, such as the erasing comments, were occasionally awkward to work with in this beta, which results in Ergo being slightly harder to use than it should be. However, any notes can be moved around on the page to be stored where you need them.
These criticisms aside, the heart of Ergo represents some exciting developments for the next stage in searching and organising documents. Potential OEM deals could mean that PC manufacturers will start including the program on new machines, and this will provide a new approach for collating data from a number of sources.