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Technology at the fingertips

Posted by the markITeer on May 31, 2007

Microsoft SurfaceDid you ever see a sci-fi movie in which they had some really cool gadgets that you just had to have… if they would exist? Or in which they used some pretty amazing technology-yet-to-be-invented? Well, today Microsoft turned a little piece of science fiction into science faction with the launch of Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft Surface is a device that could well be the next step in how we interact with computers and applications. Forget the keyboard, forget the mouse. Just a 30″ diagonal touch-sensitive display table giving you access to your applications using nothing but your fingers. Sounds just like touch-screens? Not quite: it goes a lot further: Surface also allows interactions with other objects placed on top of it, like eg mobile phones, mp3 players (I wonder if it’s gone be iPod or Zune 🙂 ), … So you could copy pictures from your digital camera onto your mobile phone just by placing them both on the Surface and drag them -using your fingers- from one device to the other.

Or imagine this: you’re looking for a new mobile phone. You walk into a store and want some information on the latest models. You place them on the MS Surface counter and immediately a comparison table appears of all the features of the mobile phones you picked out. Pretty neat, ey!

In terms of advertising, the possibilities are virtually limitless. Think of it as digital signage (the TV screen advertising networks in stores etc) … turning interactive. Not so long ago I posted an article on the LUON blog on the touch-screen ad by Nokia for its new N95 mobile phone. Very impressive campaign, but imagine what you could do with a device like Surface…

Technically, it consists of:

  • a piece of holographic glass
  • a projector that can shoot images at the glass
  • two cameras, aimed at the glass
  • a computer running a version of Windows Vista
  • software written in Windows Presentation Foundation

Want to see it in action? Take a look at this video:


One Response to “Technology at the fingertips”

  1. Gerrit said

    I’m not sure this is so revolutional. Seen how ‘mobile’ this thing is? It’s got wheels on it, and looks like a big fat bathtub. Mobile is supposed to be flat, really flat. Like in iPhone.

    It’s only a pc with a touch interface to me. Nothing that new about it, and very Microsoft.

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