European technology company Opera Software is today debuting a brand new concept browser for Mac and Windows, built from the same engine as the company’s flagship Opera browser, but designed to showcase new ways to interact with web content.
The Opera Neon browser start page displays browser tabs as little circular icons that can be dragged around and reordered. The left sidebar includes a video player, download manager, and image gallery, while a new visual sidebar on the right hosts other active pages that can be pulled into the middle. The Neon browser can automatically manage tabs so that the most frequently used tabs will float to the top on their own volition, while those used less frequently will sink to the bottom.
Elsewhere, the browser supports video pop-out, meaning that you can continue watching a video from one web page while perusing another, and a split-screen mode means two web pages can be accessed at the same time.
Launched in 1995, Opera remains one of the oldest browsers on the web, and the Norwegian company has been going all-out to differentiate itself in recent years. In 2016 alone, the company claimed a number of “firsts,” including introducing a built-in VPN for its desktop browser, which was followed by a built-in ad-blocker and a currency converter that automatically converts prices on ecommerce sites.
It’s worth noting here that Opera Neon isn’t being lined up to replace the main Opera browser quite yet — it’s designed as a concept to illustrate what a browser in 2017 should perhaps look like. However, the company does say that some of the features should arrive in the main flagship Opera desktop app later this year.
“Web browsers of today are basically from the last millennium, a time when the web was full of documents and pages,” said Opera browser chief Krystian Kolondra. “With the Opera Neon project, we want to show people our vision for the future of the web.”