Thursday, May 31, 2007

Surface Computing.. A Long Standing Due..

Style and Innovation is definitely in - after Apple announced iPhones, a novel concept, its now Microsoft which has managed to turn people's heads. On May 30, they announced and showcased their latest venture - Surface Computing. Well, as novel as it may sound, however this computing concept has been there since the 1980s with firms such as PerceptivePixel, Microsoft is now trying to bring it to the common world.
For the introduction, a Surface features a 30-inch tabletop display which acts as a multitouch and hence multiuser interactive interface, all without a mouse and a keyboard. So you can just let your fingers do the talking on the surface itself - manipulating images, painting pictures, navigating maps et al. Intuition now is changing its interface!!
I saw a couple of videos related to the same, and the gizmo looks jazzy enough to deserve a mention. Well, it might not really be of use as a computing powerhouse for now, and with the initial offering hovering around the $10,000 mark, it might also not be a part of common man's household, but things change fast in this digital world, ain't it?

Barring, the multitouch fundamental concept of this device, the one thing that really hit me was the terrific data transfer capabilities that are possible. With multiple infra-red cameras built in, the digitized surface can intercept any object that is placed on it. Now consider a camera on the surface along with a infra-red enabled phone!! Did the bells ring? Once the camera is placed on the surface media, data i.e. the images can be extracted out of it and dragged into the phone.. with your hands, without actually connecting the 2 devices......

Code named Milan, this multipoint device is all set for an initial rollout as early as 2007 (though we don't trust Microsoft after the Vista deadline debacle) and the first buyers would be the casinos and the retail outfits.
Needless to explain, check out the videos..Its like Minority Report revisited.. ;)


Harshdeep said...

Jeff Han from NYU has been showing off amazing applications of multi-touch screens for more than a year now. In SIGGRAPH last year, he had a huge projection display where any number of people could simultaneously play around with Google Maps, Flickr etc. Check out

Paranoid.. said...

Interesting indeed.
A lot of work has gone into this field since almost 3 decades now. Just that when folks from Redmond do it, it gets huge (no pun intended). ;)