Microsoft Surface Puts Computer Mice on Notice
Microsoft's 30-inch tabletop Surface device is controlled through physical contact and hand gestures.
image
Microsoft’s Surface features a 30-inch display that’s controlled by hand gestures. Photo: (C) Microsoft
June 14, 2007 by Toni Kistner

Watching the commercial, what struck me most about Apple’s i-Phone is the way you control everything with your fingertips –- no buttons or dials.

But Microsoft appears to be taking this human touch interface concept to a higher level –- and getting a lot less attention –- with its tabletop computing play space, Surface.

Surface doesn’t use a keyboard or mouse, but instead the 30-inch display “turns an ordinary tabletop into a vibrant, dynamic surface that provides effortless interaction with all forms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects,” according to the company.

Picture a Flash enabled table-top Star Trek command console. View the demo to draw your own comparisons. The Surface surface is acrylic; dimensions are 22 inches high, 21 inches deep and 42 inches wide.

So what do you do with it? Digital finger painting. Drag and drop music around. Add ID tag and object recognition technologies and things get more interesting. Serving a glass of wine at a Surface restaurant table could display information about the wine and what you might pair with it. Pictures of the vineyard might appear, as well as info to help you plan a trip to Napa, all in a digital stream of consciousness.

By year’s end, Surface is expected to begin appearing in Microsoft partner hotels, restaurants and casinos, bundled with basic applications for photo, music, virtual concierge and games, all of which can be customized.

Whether Surface ever makes its way into the living room, who knows. But Surface runs Windows Vista and includes wired Ethernet, 802.11g and Bluetooth interfaces, so it’ll connect to your network. 

Follow Electronic House on Facebook and Twitter.


Toni Kistner - Contributing Writer
Toni Kistner is a technology writer living in Cambridge, Mass. Her main focus is networking and wireless technology.

FREE Charter Platinum Membership
Claim your FREE Charter Platinum Membership to EH Network and receive 6 FREE issues of EH Magazine.*
First Name
Last Name
Email Address

We understand your email address is private. By granting you access to the EH Network, you agree to receive email communications from us, including our newsletters. You can manage your subscription at any time in the future.
* The new EH Network launches and your free subscription begins December 2014.


Topics

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.