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Microsoft Surface


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#1 Richard Leis

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 07:41 AM


http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

A recent and upcoming history of computing interfaces:

GUI --> Haptics/Gesture + Voice --> Brain-Computer Interface + AI

The haptics, gesture, and voice interfaces allow a much more natural physical interaction with our computers. People are going to really enjoy transitioning from mouse and keyboard inputs to interfaces like Apple's iPhone and Microsoft's Surface. Add in a little voice recognition and interfacing becomes fun again.

Of course, the only interface technology left will send all data directly into your brain. Add in some AI friends...

Well, let's just enjoy this current interface revolution. :)

#2 Live Forever

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 07:52 AM

After watching the videos, I am more excited. Looks very cool.

It says that the tables will start becoming available in Winter 2007. I wonder what the initial price point will be for them?

#3 futureofscience

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:22 AM

Looks kinda cool. Interaction with technology is certainly changing.

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#4 modelcadet

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:30 AM

You can build one of these for around $500 in ebay parts (sans the actual pc).
Granted, you won't have all of this software... but Jeff Han offers some free software for download.

I'm getting really excited about the future. There is indeed an interfacing revolution going on right now... it hits home ever-increasingly how networking limitations have so severely limited the parallel processing power of the 6 billion supercomputers on the planet.

Imagine this eventually with your fingerprint signature tagged to a global network of preferences (for specific gestures, homepages, etc). I think I just invented that. Dibs. :)

Edit: Jeff Han's paper

You can get the gist of it for free via MAKE. (I too want to homebrew a Lemur...)

Edited by modelcadet, 30 May 2007 - 11:08 AM.


#5 futureofscience

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:34 AM

I just found this:

http://news.bbc.co.u...ess/6703249.stm

With a 30-inch screen, Surface will initially sell for between $5,000 and $10,000 (£2,525-£5,050).

However, Microsoft said it aimed to produce cheaper versions for homes within three to five years.



#6 Live Forever

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:44 AM

Here is the video from TED when it was still in the development stage back at the beginning of 2006:




Here is the digg link for the story on the announcement of Microsoft Surface. One of the first comments really made me laugh:

Awesome, a touch screen table.

Now if only it could fit in my pocket, hold songs and video, had a phone built in and only cost $499 or $599....



#7 Live Forever

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:55 AM

Lol, I like the photoshop someone made:

Posted Image

#8 modelcadet

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:13 AM



Chess anyone?

Imagine surface plus video of other users manipulating the same system using remote pc... then add additional monitors with audio and video feeds of the faces attached to those hands...

The future really is here. We desperately need better networking infrastructure here in the States so teleconference tech can continue to develop.

#9 Karomesis

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 02:00 PM

seriously BADASS. [thumb]

imagine someone doing protein modeling with it. :) ....alongside a supercomputer of course. [glasses]

#10 Richard Leis

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 09:46 PM

$10,000 for the 30-inch Surface, available Winter 2007. The guts include the usual computer running Vista and Surface software, five infrared cameras, and a projector. The product will initial be for hotels, casinos, retail outlets, and entertainment venues. Microsoft expects the price to fall to consumer purchase levels over the next 3 to 5 years.

#11 Richard Leis

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 09:51 PM

The iPhone is capable of just a tiny subset of the "dozens and dozens" of gestures Surface recognizes. However, it is clear that both Apple and Microsoft started their gesture-recognition/haptics efforts at roughly the same time, and it is clear these new interfaces have the backing of both. Whether one or both or neither ultimately succeeds, it is clear the interfaces themselves will succeed, and quickly.

In level of capabilities, from least to most:

Apple (iPhone)
Microsoft (Surface)
Perspective Pixel

#12 Live Forever

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:04 PM

Video of Bill Gates showing off Microsoft's Touch Table on the Today Show this morning:

http://gizmodo.com/g...able-264453.php

#13 Athanasios

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:07 AM

As long as we can skip past the DRM, this stuff will be cool.

#14 wydell

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:24 AM

Tabletop video games never seemed to catch on in the late 70s. I think that they had pacman versions, x and o football, and space invaders. The tabletop concept hardly seems new. You can probably pick up some tabletop arcade games on ebay.

#15 Live Forever

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:27 AM

Tabletop video games never seemed to catch on in the late 70s.  I think that they had pacman versions, x and o football, and space invaders.  The tabletop concept hardly seems new.  You can probably pick up some tabletop arcade games on ebay.

Yeah, but this is a whole computer and is touch sensitive. Quite a bit more advanced than a pac man game from the 70s.

#16 Athanasios

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:34 AM

Tabletop video games never seemed to catch on in the late 70s.  I think that they had pacman versions, x and o football, and space invaders.  The tabletop concept hardly seems new.  You can probably pick up some tabletop arcade games on ebay.


Good point. Two big things driving the consumer computer industry, games and porn. I imagine by the time this is really used for non-artistic consumer use, it will do something like swivel from table to monitor, and I am sure there would be other inputs available for gaming and control at a distance.

#17 Live Forever

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:38 AM

The way they have been showing them in all of the examples for commercial uses look spectacular. How you can choose what you want to eat, or put your credit cards down and automatically split up the bill by dragging to the credit cards. I expect they will be a pretty big hit on the retail side before homes start adopting them very much.

#18 wydell

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:02 AM

It seems to me that it's too pricey for consumer market and always will be. There are more materials required than a traditional screen, which drives up cost. Consumers are cost sensitive and will probably not buy into this

From a practical standpoint, it also has more limited viewing capability. Whereas a group of 10 people can easily sit on couches and chairs and view a low cost traditional screen, the viewing capability of a tabletop is limited to the number of chairs that can fit around the border of the table top.

I can see some applications for arcades and casinos. However, if tabletops take up more space than traditional vertical screens, then that likely means less gaming machines per square foot. If that is the case, tabletops will likely have limited applications in the gaming arenas

#19 Richard Leis

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 06:37 AM

Wydell, Microsoft stated that Surface is not priced for the consumer market currently, but will be over the next 3 to 5 years. The availability of Surface in retail, entertainment venues, and hotels is meant to wet the appetite of consumers for those near-future consumer electronics.

The components of Surface are all undergoing rapid advancement and falling prices. Projector technology alone is expected to be in cell phones very soon with the demonstration of new tiny form factors. I am frankly shocked that the entire package is only $10,000, and I can see many homeowners clamoring for Surface at that price regardless of Microsoft's initial intentions.

Only the current Surface form factor has the limits you suggest. Microsoft also said the technology flexibly adapts to different form factors, including vertical displays. A casino will not replace their current devices with 30-inch table tops. However, they will replace their current devices with a variety of Surface form factors. The flexibility of Surface and its ability to be many different machines at once suggests an interesting future for casinos.

#20 luv2increase

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 06:47 AM

It isn't going to be just tabletop surfaces. If you notice from the videos, they had them both tilted and on walls. IMO, this is the future of computing. Awesome!

#21 Live Forever

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 07:16 AM

Wydell, Microsoft stated that Surface is not priced for the consumer market currently, but will be over the next 3 to 5 years.  The availability of Surface in retail, entertainment venues, and hotels is meant to wet the appetite of consumers for those near-future consumer electronics.

The components of Surface are all undergoing rapid advancement and falling prices.  Projector technology alone is expected to be in cell phones very soon with the demonstration of new tiny form factors.  I am frankly shocked that the entire package is only $10,000, and I can see many homeowners clamoring for Surface at that price regardless of Microsoft's initial intentions.

Only the current Surface form factor has the limits you suggest.  Microsoft also said the technology flexibly adapts to different form factors, including vertical displays.  A casino will not replace their current devices with 30-inch table tops.  However, they will replace their current devices with a variety of Surface form factors.  The flexibility of Surface and its ability to be many different machines at once suggests an interesting future for casinos.

Exactly. Once the cost comes down to be competitive with, say, a regular table, which would you rather have: One of these or a regular table?

The retail applications for it (which should be available almost immediately) are staggering enough, but when it funnels down to the consumer level (3-5 years or so), it will be a revolution.

#22 wydell

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 02:41 AM

I only glanced at the article. I really did not read about the innovations besides the table top idea (which itself is not an innovation). I was only speaking to that aspect.

I did did think the microsoft tablet pc was a novel concept, and I would think it would be great for note taking. But it never really caught on.

#23 Live Forever

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 02:48 AM

I know lots of people with tablets. I think my next laptop will be a tablet when I get a new one. What do you mean by it "never really caught on"? They are not a ton now (although they sell hundreds of thousands of them a year), but steadily increasing in numbers. It is my understanding that Windows Vista, which integrates tablet PC extensions, will drive some tablet PC sales as a result of increasing enterprise adoption beginning in 2008, so maybe the sales will pick up.

Still a cool technology... :))

#24 wydell

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:09 AM

I guess I mean that some in the media have stated that their has been limited success.

"Microsoft to unveil coffee-table-shaped PC
The Brunei Times, Brunei Darussalam - May 30, 2007
For years Gates has championed touch-screen technology such as the tablet PC with little success, but the Surface is a totally different shape and allows ..."


"The Surface of the Metaverse
Institu-lint.co.uk, UK - May 30, 2007
Of course Microsoft has tried this before and failed - the Tablet PC hasn't exactly been a crowning success, although manufacturers are slowly trying to ..."


But then again . . . maybe tablet sales are increasing as you say




"Don't look now, but Tablet PCs are on the rise
Ars Technica, MA - May 20, 2007
Derided by some and purchased by even fewer, the Tablet PC concept has had a rough go of it since its formal blessing by Microsoft in the form of Windows XP ..."

#25 Live Forever

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:40 AM

I agree that the sales aren't as huge as some were expecting 3 or 4 years ago, so you are correct. However, I think they will increase more in the future.

#26 Live Forever

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 08:57 PM

Parody of the Surface:



Hilarious.

#27 Ghostrider

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 11:11 PM

Funny video. The technology looks cool, but near useless. It's just a big-ass toy.

#28 Mind

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 11:30 PM

Funny video. The technology looks cool, but near useless. It's just a big-ass toy.


I wouldn't say useless. Its "uselessness" is the same as any other technology, be it cell phones, computers, or the internet itself. It really boils down to how people use it. Some people waste thousands of hours in front of gaming consoles. Others chit-chat on their cell phones all day long about nothing. Some people will use the Surface for entertainment or useless things, other will be creative, inventive and/or connect to the world with it. I think it looks cool. I would buy one if I was rich.

#29 maestro949

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 01:36 AM

I saved $9,600 by taking my flat panel monitor and laying it face up on the table.

#30 wydell

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 01:15 PM

very funny stuff




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