Zooming to better use desktop space
On a real-life desktop I will often move toward an object to work with it. i.e. When I want to look at the calendar I will move closer to it. That allows better use of my desktop because some objects are "zoomed out" and therefore take less space (in my field of view). I received an iPod Touch for Christmas and the zooming of web pages and pictures works well. Of course adding a touch screen to a normal computer would help zooming work better.
Has anyone ever tried to incorporate a similar idea into a GUI? Icons, minimize/maximize, and resizing are somewhat like that but not quite enough. It would be nice to resize something to a "zoomed out size". i.e. I could set a size for my email program when it isn't in use and it would be shrunk to fit in that space when desired. That would allow me to "watch" the output of windows without it being large enough to read it.