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Introducing Microsoft Surface Computing

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  • User profile image
    anand.t

    Looks like I broke it first

    Logo



    http://www.microsoft.com/surface/



    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/may07/05-29MSSurfacePR.mspx


    Q&A with Tom Gibbons
    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/may07/05-29Surface.mspx

    What is Microsoft Surface?

    Tom Gibbons wrote:

    It’s a powerful technology that is visually compelling. Surface is a horizontal display on a table-like form factor that morphs from an ordinary table-top into a new, vibrant way to bring connected entertainment and digital content to users. The cool factor is the way you interact with digital content by using your hands to get what you need. Surface provides effortless interaction with digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects. Because Surface is essentially housed in a table, it’s easy for individuals or multiple people to gather around it in a way that feels familiar – making collaboration more powerful and fun.



    More images

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/surfacecomputing/default.mspx

    Partners:

    T-Mobile !! (are we looking at zune phone sometime soon) ??
    sheraton hotels
    and others

    On10 has a video up
    http://on10.net/Blogs/larry/first-look-microsoft-surfacing-computing/

  • User profile image
    ironichi

    That's a very cool device.  I wonder if it'll eventually enable "whiteboarding" and UML stuff, like; spitballing ideas at the bar/restaurant, transfer to mobile device to take with you.

    The Object Recognition is ingenious.

    How they kept it secret up to the point of rolling it out to big-name customers is amazing.

  • User profile image
    anand.t

    the hotel app is awesome. Imagine ordering food, then kids probably playing, choosing our music, sharing photos. Smiley Should be fun.

  • User profile image
    Cybermagell​an

    This will be awesome indeed...

    Imagine schools that the teacher can control the book you're reading...imagine no books in schools...everything can be on your computers.

    Imagine connecting something like this up to an MRI or CAT scan machine and a doctor being able to rotate an image of your organs in real time.

    Imagine your kids being able to color on the table in a coloring book....better yet...imagine being able to make a whole directory of coloring books or books for your kids to read or color on with their fingers and "paint daubs"...BETTER YET...imagine connecting one of these to Amazon...and being able to buy a book by pressing "buy".

    Imagine (I think the Japanese already have this), but being able to take a preprogramed glass into a bar, and the software sorting tables by who likes what teams, who has an interest in what drinks, and who has an interest in what sports...

    IMAGINE!!! An iPhone being lost and them providing GPS information to Cingular or Apple. You walk into an Apple or Cingular store and they can match the GPS coordinates with Google Maps + Flickr Geocoding to tell you where your phone is...just by your phone number.

    The possibilities are truely endless...I think Microsoft opened up a whole new technology here..

  • User profile image
    anand.t

    Someone with a digg account should help those guys understand the real big deal here - Object recoginition Cool. Most of those seem to be taking about msft copying touch screen from apple Sad

  • User profile image
    Randolpho

    Ok, that looks cool. Reminds me of something I saw on slashdot a couple years back, but that involved projection from above rather than an LCD/touch screen below.

    Now the question becomes: how the hell do I write programs for it? GIMME SDK!

  • User profile image
    bitdisaster

    Thats very frustrating!
    If I look on those application/technology and then look at my own winform apps [C] Maybe my software is from the wrong century. [C]

    The object recogninition in MS surface is so Cool at least in the videos.

  • User profile image
    ironichi

    I just watched the DigiDesk video from the link on on10.net.  It looks like an uber-smart big brother to the MS Surface.

    The on10 Surface video was mind-blowing.

  • User profile image
    anand.t

    section31 wrote:
    Thats very frustrating!
    If I look on those application/technology and then look at my own winform apps Maybe my software is from the wrong century.

    The object recogninition in MS surface is so at least in the videos.


    heard the applications are made using wpf and vista. So should be easy to migrate.

    Btw since this tech is going to come in dec, we should have perfect vista capable of recognizing most devices in dec Cool      

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    I am confused...Perplexed

    Wasn't it just last week that Emet told us there is nothing exciting coming out of MS...?

    Please advise...



    Anyway, on a more serious note, this looks really great.  I especially like the feature of placing objects on the table, like a camera, and it is recognized and the pictures get transferred.  Or placing the phone on the table, and dragging destinations from the mapping app "into" the gps phone.  Really slick.

  • User profile image
    bitdisaster

    anand.t wrote:
    

    heard the applications are made using wpf and vista. So should be easy to migrate.

    Btw since this tech is going to come in dec, we should have perfect vista capable of recognizing most devices in dec       



    Yes, WPF is cool but I have to learn the new tech and I already do. But also when I master WPF, I will never be a designer. Apart from the GUI also the ideas and concepts have the wow effect.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    woo.  way cool.  Would love to play with one soon.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    There was already a company developing multi-touch displays. This goes two steps further.

    Microsoft really got one over Apple this time. I cannot imagine the complexity behind object recognition.

    This is even cooler than Minority Report and that supposibly took place 40 years from now.

  • User profile image
    DoomBringer

    My first off the cuff reactions:
    1) Cool!
    2) Yes, cool, but is it really going to be something I'd want to buy?  Probably not, if the price is up there (Origami suffers the same problem, I'd love to get one, but at that price, I can get another laptop).  I'd hate for it to be (essentially) another computer to set up and run, as I already have the computer part of that, I can do all the data processing elsewhere.  Much cheaper to be a thin client...
    3) The concierge service is probably the best idea there.  I hate bothering some poor nightclerk, and if it can offer a unified and easy way to build a day plan, then awesome.
    4) You want me to put my credit card on that?  With my cellphone?  Ruh roh, shaggy!  In that case, I hope the privacy and security aspect is gold plated and locked down.  I'm paranoid enough about using WiFi, and I'd rather not put my credit card onto a device that could be hooked into an insecure WiFi network (or even someone who isn't smart enough to disable inactive ethernet jacks).
    5) People aren't going to be sober enough to drive some complex UI.  I hope that billpay thing is easy (but the dragging thing works pretty well, but what stops somebody from just dragging their 12 mojitos onto my card?!  Perhaps MSFT is smart enough to realize that I only drink manly drinks, like Jack and Coke and Cosmopolitans.)
    6) Object recognition.  Say I run a bar.  Am I going to have to RFID tag all my glasses?  Buy new glasses?  Barcode them?  It is probably improbably hard, but can it tell the difference between my Jack and Coke and a Tom Collins?  If I put chess pieces on it, will it tell me if I'm missing a piece, and will it start the game up, and show the rules?  Could I save the game, and will it remember my game, especially against different people?
    7) I'm leery of placing glasses on displays.  Condensation is a real enemy of electronics.  I hope it is waterproof.
    8) How can I program it myself?  If I can program it myself, what is to stop me from sniffing credit cards?  I'd like to add my own object recognition, would that be easy?

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Yeah, price will be a major concern.

    They are talking upto $10,000 for a 1 GHz unit.

    You can get several fairly decent notebooks or rigs for that price.

    Competition is already underway, though. That'll help keep prices fairly affordable (for some) and prevent any sort of new monopoly.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    OMG. I can't wait to watch that video with sound, tonight. That's incredibly awesome, even if it's probably not a home appliance.

    DoomBringer wrote:
    
    4) You want me to put my credit card on that?  With my cellphone?  Ruh roh, shaggy!  In that case, I hope the privacy and security aspect is gold plated and locked down.  I'm paranoid enough about using WiFi, and I'd rather not put my credit card onto a device that could be hooked into an insecure WiFi network (or even someone who isn't smart enough to disable inactive ethernet jacks).


    I was thinking the same thing, but on the other hand, I use my CC to pay in restaurants all the time. What's to stop the waiter from just grabbing my CC data from the receipt?

  • User profile image
    zian

    For #7, I think the surface is acrylic.

    For #8, I read that it runs a version of Vista and I assume that it will be completely locked down since the companies will have a financial incentive to not let people skip the step of paying for the goods.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Hardly innovative Wink

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