Contents Surface computer History What makes it unique? Features of surface computer Hardware and software specifications Structure and working Advantages and Disadvantages Applications Future scope Conclusion
Surface Computer Surface computing is the term for the use of a specialized computer GUI in which traditional GUI elements are replaced by intuitive, real world objects. Instead of a keyboard and mouse, the user interacts directly with a touch-sensitive screen. Surface computer is able to recognize physical objects.
History 2001: Microsoft researchers Steve Bathiche and Andy Wilson developed idea of interactive table that could understand the manipulation of physical Objects. Oct 2001: DJ kurlander, Michal Kim, Joel Dehlin, Bathiche and Wilson formed a virtual team to bring idea to the next stage of development. 2003: 1st prototype model named T1 which is based on IKEA table.
2005: Tub-proto type was designed. Surface computer was announced on May 29, 2007 at D5 conference. Preliminary launch was on April 17, 2008. The latest version is Microsoft Surface 2.0
Features of surface computer Direct interaction: Direct interaction means that, we can interact with the Surface by using our fingers. No other input device is needed to give input which provides a natural interface effect. Multi-touch: Surface computing recognizes many points of contact simultaneously, surface has been optimized to respond 52 touches at a time.
Multi-user: The horizontal form factor makes it easy for several people togather 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. Object recognition is done in the surface by using special bar codes called Domino tags.
Hardware & software specifications Intel core 2 Duo @ 2.13 GHz 2GB DDR2 RAM 250GB SATA Hard Drive and Custom motherboard form factor about the size of two ATX motherboards. System: Windows Vista / Windows 7 , wired Ethernet and wireless and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity. Technologies: Windows Presentation Foundation or XNA Materials: The Surface tabletop is acrylic, and its interior frame is powder-coated steel.
Structure and workingHardware of Surface Computer consists of 4 parts as- 1. Screen 2. Infrared light 3. CPU 4. Projector
1) Screen: A diffuser turns the Surfaces acrylic tabletop into a large horizontal “multi-touch” screen, capable of processing multiple inputs from multiple users. The Surface can also recognize objects by their shapes or by reading coded tags.2) Infrared: Surfaces "machine vision" operates in the near-infrared spectrum, using an 850-nanometer-wavelength LED light source aimed at the screen. When objects touch the tabletop, the light reflects back and is picked up by infrared cameras.
3) CPU: Surface uses many of the same components found in everyday desktop computers. Wireless communication with devices on the surface is handled using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas.4) Projector: Microsofts Surface uses the DLP(Digital Light Processing) light engine found in many rear projection DTV’s . The cameras can read nearly infinite number of simultaneous touches and are limited only by processing power.
Working Surface uses cameras to sense objects, hand gestures and touch. This user input is then processed and displayed using rear projection. Surface uses this rear projection system which displays an image on to the underside of the thin diffuser. Image process system processes the camera images to detect fingers and other objects such as paint brushes when touching the display. The objects recognized with this system are reported to applications running in the computer so that they can react to object shapes, 2D tags, movement and touch.
Advantages & Disadvantages Advantages:1. Can handle multiple users at the same time.2. No wires or USB ports is required.3. Instant download/upload of photos.4. Users have more control of technology i.e. ordering food or manipulating photos fast.5. Time saving by eliminating more processes.
Disadvantages:1. Not portable and very expensive($12,000-$15,000).2. Need for dim lighting to avoid washing out the screen.3. Poor Accuracy- Fat fingers are not as accurate as a mouse or stylus.4. Objects needs to be tagged.
Applications1) Digital photo handling with finger tips: Sharing photos is a much more unrestricted activity. Photos are arranged into albums that look like files. Tapping the file once spreads it around the screen and from there user can drag, rotate, and resize the images. Since Surface can detect many touches at the same time, multiple people can sort and resize pictures.
2) Instantly compares while shopping: Two cell phones can be placed on the surface and compare the different price points and features, experiment with ring tones and look at plans then program the phone to your liking and have it all set to use before you walk out of the store.3) Interaction with digital images: Digital images are manipulated, shared & send via technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.4) Surface Restaurant: Orders can be placed on the Surface from a sliding menu.
Future scope Computer scientists hope to incorporate this kind of technology in peoples’ daily lives. Future goals are to surround people with intelligent surfaces-look up recipes on kitchen counter or table, control TV with coffee table, etc. As form factors continue to evolve, surface computing will be in any number of environments— schools, businesses, homes and in any number of form factors
Conclusion Microsoft Surface is the future of computers. Microsoft Surface breaks down the traditional barriers between people and technology. Surface takes existing technology to and presents it in a new way. It is n’t simply a touch screen, but more of a touch-grab-move-slide- resize-and-place-objects-on-top-of-screen, and this open up new possibilities that weren’t before.