What is surface computing?A form of computing that offers “a natural way ofinteracting with information,” rather than the“traditional user interface.”Direct Interaction: The ability to "grab" digitalinformation with hands - interacting withtouch/gesture, not with a mouse or keyboard.Multi–Touch: The ability to recognize multiple pointsof contact at the same time, not just one (Ex. onefinger, like with most touch screens), but dozens.Multi–User: The Surface’s screen is horizontal,allowing many people to come together around itand experience a “collaborative, face–to–facecomputing experience” .Object Recognition: Physical objects can be placedon the Surface’ s screen to “trigger different types ofdigital responses” (Ex. cell phones, cameras, & glassesof wine).
How is the Surface used?• Wireless! Transfer pictures from camera to Surface and cellphone. “ Drag and drop virtual content to physical objects.”• Digital interactive painting• At a phone store? Place cell phone on the Surface and getinformation, compare different phones, select service plan,accessories, and pay at table!• At a restaurant? View menu, order drinks and meal at yourtable! It’ s a durable surface you can eat off of (withstands spills,etc.). Need separate checks? Split bill at and pay at table.• Play games and use the Internet.• Watch television• Jukebox! Browse music, make play lists.•Billboard for advertising• Maps
How does it work?• The Surface is not a touch-sensitive screen device… The screen itself is not electronic.• The Surface uses multiple infrared cameras beneath the screen/table top to sense objects, physical touch, etc.• The Surface “recognizes objects based on shape or by using domino-style identification (domino tags) on thebottom of the objects.”• This information is processed and displayed using “rear projection” . (1) Screen: Diffuser -> ” multitouch" screen. Can process multiple inputs and recognize objects by their shapes or coded "domino" tags. (2) Infrared: The ” machine vision" is aimed at the screen. Once an object touches the tabletop -> the light reflects back and is picked up by infrared cameras. (3) CPU: Uses similar components as current desktop computers -> Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 256MB graphics card. Wireless communication -> WiFi and Bluetooth antennas (future -> RFID). Operating system -> modified version of Microsoft Vista. (4) Projector: Uses a DLP light engine ( rear-projection HDTVs).
Microsoft Surface ?• Project began in 2001• Introduced in 2007• A surface computing platform from Microsoft. “ Microsoft Surface represents a fundamental change in the way we interact with digital content. With Surface, we can actually grab data with our hands, and move information between objects with natural gestures and touch. Surface features a 30-inch tabletop display whose unique abilities allow for several people to work independently or simultaneously. All without using a mouse or a keyboard.” - Microsoft.com
Who’ s using the Surface today?• Currently only commercially available and being used in the retail,hospitality, automotive, banking and healthcare industries.• Current customers are AT& T, T-Mobile, the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casinoin Las Vegas, Sheraton Hotels, Disney Innovations House in California,Hotel 1000 in Seattle, Harrah’ s Entertainment, and Starwood Hotels andResorts Worldwide.
Microsoft Surface’ s Future…• Surface will continue to be sold to and used by restaurants, retail, leisure andpublic entertainment venues.• According to Pete Thompson, Microsoft’ s general manager for surfacecomputing, the Surface could potentially be available to the “broader consumermarket” as soon as 2010. Microsoft goal is for consumers test the Surface incommercial settings, and then want them in their own households. Microsoftwants to expand to the consumer market by making a product people can usein their home environment (using other surfaces like desks or making a versionthat hangs on the wall).• 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 your kitchen counter or table, control TV with coffee table,etc.)• "I firmly believe that in the near future, we will have wallpaper displays inevery hallway, in every desk. Every surface will be a point of interaction witha computer, and for that to happen, we really need interfaces like this." - JeffHan founder of Perceptive Pixel and NYU professor
Problems?• Will it catch on? Microsofts “ whiz-bang technologies” aren’ t always themost successful products… For example the smart watch, the Portable MediaCenter, the Zune music player and the Tablet PC, have not caught on like thecompany had hoped. Microsoft hopes “ to strike a chord with consumers” withthe Surface and “ expand beyond its traditional Windows and Office softwarebusinesses.”• $$ $ $$ $$ Surface machines cost between $5,000 (Rs.2,50,000/-) and$10,000 (Rs.5,00,000/-), but Microsoft hopes that as prices fall, the machinewill find it’ s way into the consumer’ s household. For it to be able to catch onwith “ mainstream consumers,” the price will definitely need to come down.