By Yara Omar, Janus Networks
Microsoft Surface is a Windows Vista PC tucked inside a table that lets users deal with digital content by multi-touching the table surface or placing objects on it. The technology was first announced by Microsoft in May 2007 but it came to reality by April 2008 when AT&T used it in their stores for the first time.
In AT&T stores, customers can put phones on the table surface (screen) and it will recognize the phone and display all of its features and availability information in a very attractive graphical representation on the table screen. The user can move from one menu to another by touching the surface and experience using the phone as if it was real.
But that’s not all about it. The technology is to be used in many other places. Surface is heavily targeted to be used in restaurants as it adds real excitement there. Menus with pictures are displayed right on Surface tables in a very attractive flash-like style. With a few simple steps, customers could make their choices by multi-touching the table and their orders will be ready to be served in minutes. When placing objects on the table (like plates and glasses) different graphical shapes are displayed right around them and keep on animating and reshaping. Imagine bubbles floating around your glass of wine and you could just touch them and move them around while enjoying your meal. Dating is also possible through Surface. Using cameras that focus on different tables, you can easily select a certain table and send flirt messages to whoever you like and they’ll get them right at the other end.
Surface is optimized to respond to 52 touches at a time. It could also respond to objects placed on it as long as they are “tagged” as well as supporting multi-user experience. The unit costs from $5000 to $10000 but Microsoft is expecting that the prices will drop down by 2010. You can watch real interesting videos about Surface at www.microsoft.com/surface.
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