These days, Microsoft launched an exciting computer called Surface. Microsoft Surface™ is the first commercially available “surface computer” that allows users to manipulate digital content using natural motions, hand gestures or physical objects.
Surface is a 30-inch (76 cm) display in a table-like form factor, 22 inches (56 cm) high, 21 inches (53 cm) deep, and 42 inches (107 cm) wide. It uses cameras to sense objects, hand gestures and touch. This user input is then processed and the result is displayed on the surface using rear projection. The software runs on Windows Vista and it has Ethernet, wireless and Bluetooth connectivity.
According to Microsoft, Surface computing has the following main key attributes:
- Direct interaction: users can actually “grab” digital information with their hands and interact with content by touch and gesture, without the use of a mouse or keyboard.
- Multi-touch contact: surface computing recognizes many points of contact simultaneously, not just from one finger, as with a typical touch screen, but up to dozens and dozens of items at once.
- Multi-user experience: the horizontal form factor makes it easy for several people to gather around surface computers together, providing a collaborative, face-to-face computing experience.
- Object recognition: users can place physical objects on the surface to trigger different types of digital responses, including the transfer of digital content.
The product will be released in November 2007 and it will cost around 10.000$. The first clients are expected to be mostly businesses such as restaurants, hotels, retail and public entertainment venues.
The presentations are very exciting and we sure hope Microsoft Surface will be available as soon as possible.
UPDATE: Ars Technica published a brief Q&A with Microsoft from which can find out more information about the technology behind Microsoft Surface.