Opera Neon is a funky new approach to a web browser, downloadable for Mac today [Video]

Some companies settle for a video render when they come up with product concepts, but Opera has created a fully-fledged working app to illustrate what it describes as an ‘alternate reality’ for the browser, Opera Neon.

To bring our vision to life, we put together a team of talented developers and designers to work on a unique prototype browser. We created thousands of concepts, drawings, iterations, versions and interface designs.

Today, we can finally show you Opera Neon. It is a concept browser – an experimental browser that envisions the future of web browsers similar to the way concept cars predict the future of automobiles.

The approach looks radically different to a conventional browser, starting as a semi-transparent overlay of your speed-dial sites floating above your Mac desktop. Opera Neon also takes a kind of virtual reality approach to tabs …

Opera Neon’s newly developed physics engine is set to breathe life back into the internet. Tabs and other objects respond to you like real objects; they have weight and move in a natural way when dragged, pushed, or even popped.

The browser automatically highlights your most-visited sites.

Cream floats to the top, and so do your favorite tabs; Opera Neon’s gravity system pulls your most used tabs to a prominent position on your Speed Dial. Done with a tab? Pop it and watch it go poof!

Opera Neon seems to have borrowed a little from iOS, with a built-in split screen designed to make it easier to work with two websites at once, and streaming video can be moved into pop-out windows so that you can watch them while browsing other sites.

There’s also a snap-to-gallery feature for collecting screengrabs and videos, and the actual browser windows have a very clean look. Check out the video below for an overview.

I’ll definitely be trying Neon, and you can do the same from today: it’s a free download, with versions also available for Windows and Linux.

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