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Microsoft Surface – multi-touch reactive display May 31, 2007

Posted by Al in : clever,computers,design , trackback

It was only recently that the Internet was full of videos and demos of multi-touch reactive displays, which allowed you to manipulate and interact with your media in a whole new way. And I’m sure that it wasn’t Microsoft who were behind these demo’s, and yet now Microsoft have officially announced such a product, and will have it on the market by the end of this year. It’s amazing what a few billion dollars behind you can achieve!

I have to say that I’m rather looking forward to this kind of technology – it is instinctive to use, and rather clever in the way it appears to collaborate with other electronic devices (through Bluetooth I would imagine, but possibly WiFi instead). However, I wouldn’t fancy installing one of these in a pub or club, as demonstrated in 2 of the videos on Microsoft’s site. Why? How well is such a surface going to cope with the condensation that comes of chilled glasses and bottles? How well will it cope with drunken yobs trying their best to break it – for a laugh?How would it cope with a glass or bottle being dropped on it? I think you’d need a very good business case to justify the potential expense – unless, of course, Microsoft can make the display cheap enough for these concerns not to be a worry.

Still – I’d like to see this kind of technology succeed, and enter the mainstream. And I’m sure it will, somewhere along the line, and probably in an application that is unexpected as well. Until these displays make it to the mainstream, you can see some videos and read more about Surface here.

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