Microsoft released information on a new product tonight and it looks amazing. It’s a 30″ tabletop screen with touch screen abilities. It works similar to the holographic screens in the movie Minority Report, though it’s much more primitive.
Microsoft has posted a fact sheet and FAQ’s, but I can’t link to anything other than the site because it’s all Flash based. Microsoft describes Surface as:
“A 30″ display in a table like form that’s easy for individuals or small groups to interact with in a way that feels familiar just like the real world. Surface can simultaneously recognize dozens and dozens of movements such as touch, gestures, and will be able to recognize actual unique objects that have identification tags similar to bar codes.”
“Surface will ship to partners with a portfolio of basic applications, including photos, videos, virtual concierge, and games, which can be customized to provide their customers with unique experiences.”
Here’s what I take from this announcement:
- Surface runs on Vista.
- Microsoft appears to be the HW manufacturer on this. I doubt that they could have kept this secret if they relied on others for HW.
- Surface is Windows Tablet Edition on steroids.
- The announcement says that Surface will be available for some businesses at the end of the year.
I am very excited about this announcement. It didn’t seem like anyone could deliver a product like Surface in the near future, and it appears that Microsoft will. This is an important step in the death of the mouse. I wonder what the price on this will be. It will probably be expensive if MS is targeting businesses.
I’d put it in the $3,500 to $5,000 range for businesses. It’s probably in the area of $1,500 for consumers. Gizmodo claims that the price is $10,000 with an expectation of a huge price drop over 3 years. Of course, this is all assuming that MS can deliver on it’s promises. I’ve got pictures posted after fold. Microsoft Surface
Update: An excellent video presentation of Microsoft Surface.
Click on the thumbnails for a closeup:
I’m really excited about this too! Finally, Microsoft does something worth blogging and getting excited about!
I finally got to play around with one of these in person. I was impressed by how accurately it detected input from multiple users.
While a large number of the apps are only for technology demonstration purposes, it is easy to see how this could indeed become a ubiquitous appliance in many commercial settings. Maybe we’ll see initial adoption by the end of this year? (2008)
Using silverlight 2 and expression, the development for this device will be great. Now that the Silverlight 2 beta is out, I would recommend grabbing a copy. It is going to be very nice to be able to develope web, windows, surface, mobile apps through the same code base.
Here are some videos from units on display at MIX 08 including a Snow Board Customization App.
This sure has come a long way from their sample unit in Redmond. Only thing left is a good/quick way of capturing user input (text).