Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface – Tabletop Computer. You won’t believe this until you see it. It’s actually real. No mouse, no keyboards, but you can touch it and guess what . . . it actually feels you. Don’t you know what is it? It’s Microsoft Surface!!!




What it is:
A computer in the form of a table, using the hard acrylic tabletop as a high-resolution screen. First product from Microsoft’s previously secret Surface Computing team, which has 120 employees.

How it works: The surface itself isn’t touch-sensitive, but a series of cameras inside the table can see when someone places or drags a finger, hand or any other object on or across the tabletop screen. Internal projector lights screen from beneath.

Interface: People can use their hands to touch and move virtual objects on the screen, just as they would with a mouse on a traditional PC. The system also can recognize objects placed on the surface, based on their shape or on special codes affixed to them.

Size: 22 inches high, 21 inches deep, 42 inches wide, with 30-inch screen.

Technology: Uses a custom software interface on top of Microsoft’s Windows Vista. Comes with wired Ethernet, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless, hard drive and 1 GHz processor.

Initial customers: Harrah’s Entertainment, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, T-Mobile and IGT, the gaming technology company. Microsoft says consumer availability is still a few years away.

Competition: Microsoft isn’t alone in exploring this area. See a similar technology demonstrated by NYU researcher Jeff Han online at goto.seattlepi.com/r777.

See Microsoft Surface in action

Restaurant menu


Microsoft envisions the Surface technology being used in restaurant settings.

Photo manipulation

Mark Bolger, director of marketing in Microsoft’s Surface Computing group, shows a photo application that pulls digital images from a remote server and then lets users move them around the tabletop — and resize them — with their hands.

Painting


Bolger demonstrates a virtual painting application.

T-Mobile Demo


One of the customers that will be using Microsoft Surface is wireless service provider T-Mobile. In this demo, Microsoft’s Mark Bolger shows one of the ways that the technology could be used in a T-Mobile retail store.

Videos by Curt Milton

Learn more about Microsoft Surface