Print 83 comment(s) - last by Future145.. on Jun 22 at 12:40 PM

Microsoft Surface

Browsing through images is a breeze with Surface

"You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?"

Image manipulation is just a fingertip away
Surface takes user involvement with digital media to the next level

Microsoft is looking to today make the same breakthrough in interface technology with "Surface" that the mouse did back in the 1980s. Surface, which will be demonstrated today at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, provides instant interaction between people and digital content using hand gestures on a touch screen.

"With Surface, we are creating more intuitive ways for people to interact with technology," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "We see this as a multibillion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror. Surface is the first step in realizing that vision."

In its current form, Surface is incorporated into a 30" display mounted into a table. This allows user involvement to expand beyond just one person. Surface is capable of recognizing input from not just one finger, but up to dozens of inputs simultaneously.

This technology isn’t exactly new as Apple uses a less complex version on its iPhone and “multi-touch” technology was demonstrated by Jeff Han to much fanfare last year. Microsoft, however, is bringing multi-touch to the masses.

Users can perform tasks such as browsing through pictures and music files by simply using their fingers. For users operating Surface in restaurants, a simple touch of the screen could allow you to order a beverage during a meal.

Surface also has the ability to read bar codes on items to provide further information to the user. "This means that when a customer simply sets a wine glass on the surface of a table, a restaurant could provide them with information about the wine they’re ordering, pictures of the vineyard it came from and suggested food pairings tailored to that evening’s menu," said Microsoft. "The experience could become completely immersive, letting users access information on the wine-growing region and even look at recommended hotels and plan a trip without leaving the table."

Microsoft also notes that the transfer of digital content is also possible with Surface. So it's not too hard to envision being able to set your Zune on Surface and transfer your playlist or video files for playback on the 30" display.

Surface will first be available at Harrah’s Entertainment properties, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and T-Mobile retail stores.

"When visitors to Las Vegas choose to stay at one of our casinos, they can enjoy the amenities at all of them," said Harrah senior VP Tim Stanley. "Microsoft Surface is a great way to help our guests get the most out of their trips to Las Vegas by putting all the offerings and experiences we make available at their fingertips."

"We are creating new and engaging ways for our guests to connect with their passions while away from home. Microsoft Surface puts us at the forefront of technology and allows guests to interact with each other and our hotel in a revolutionary way," said Hoyt H. Harper II, senior vice president for Sheraton.

You can view a demo of Surface in action here (WMV).

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By Treckin on 5/30/2007 10:34:50 AM , Rating: 3
if you read my post you would understand that that is the only way for the market to evolve. If it wasnt MS it would have been apple or linux or anyone else. Computers need a common base for developers to code from.
That seems really simple, but I suppose that its easer to just hate the company that made things like standardized computing possible

RE: I have a hand gesture for MICROSUCKS...
By Alexstarfire on 5/30/07, Rating: -1
By TomZ on 5/30/2007 9:11:57 PM , Rating: 3
You don't understand the meaning of "standard" - the term doesn't mean "runs on all platforms." Think more like "de facto standard."

The point that the OP is making, that you are in denial of, is a person working in an office can send a Word document to anyone else working in an office, and the recipient can immediately use that document. In other areas where 12 different standards exist for something, you don't have that benefit. Same goes for an Excel document, Power Point presentation, PDF (obviously non-MS), etc.

These types of standards, and convergence upon a single format, are genuinely useful, even if they didn't come from an ISO committee.

By arazok on 5/30/2007 8:15:54 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. People don't seem to grasp the market demands for a dominat OS. The advantages (interoprability etc) far outweigh the cons (security, etc).

Considering it's in a monopoly position, MS has been exceptionaly good at improving it's products and offering support. You get regular and free updates to all it's products, and if you can show me any other company that offers anything as open, rich and usefull as MSDN library I'd be amazed. They have no obligation to offer any of this.

It's not to say MS is a perfect company, but considering who and what they are, they certanly deserve to be the market leader IMO.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki