ViOS conveniently locates related Web sites in physical proximity to each other.

Photo courtesy ViOS, Inc.

How It Began

Dr. Julian Lombardi is the man behind the ViOS vision. A tenured biology professor turned Internet entrepreneur, Lombardi specialized in the development and evolution of complex biological systems. While working as an associate professor of biology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he developed The Bone Box, software that allowed students to view a human skeleton in 3-D and navigate around the different bones.

It wasn't long before Lombardi combined his passions for 3-D games, the Internet and complexity theory (and its applicability to the development of distributed computational systems) to build a better way to navigate the Internet. Lombardi formulated his idea of a virtual Internet landscape, added the concept of leasing virtual real estate within that landscape, and applied for a patent on both. Lombardi’s patent was awarded in 1999, and ViOS, Inc. was officially born.

The basic concept of ViOS is to take the virtual world of the Internet and adapt it to a physical representation of a landscape, complete with mountains, rivers and cities. Lombardi's belief is that a virtual landscape that resembles our physical world is more conducive to exploration and social interaction than the flat world of the current Internet. By building cities and regions with particular themes, the ViOS team hopes that their users will discover sites that they may never have found through conventional surfing.

Let's take a closer look at how you interact with ViOS...