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Microsoft Surface: Interactive Multi Touch Tabletop Computer Revealed

by Paul Strauss

Microsoft today announced the launch of a new product line known as Surface. The tabletop system is designed to create interactive experiences using gestures, touch and objects placed on the surface of the tabletop.

Microsoft Surface Example

We’ve seen earlier research prototypes of this technology under the moniker PlayAnywhere, but now Microsoft is commercializing it. The initial Surface system looks like a table with 30-inch flat panel monitor embedded beneath the tabletop.

Microsoft Surface

Like Apple’s iPhone, Surface supports multi-touch, meaning it can detect touch in multiple locations on the display, providing the ability to “grab” and manipulate objects on the screen. The system can also accept simultaneous input from multiple users, making it perfect for gaming and other entertainment uses. In addition, it can interact with objects placed on the surface for everything from augmented reality applications to detecting when a media player is placed on the surface so it can begin transferring digital content via a wireless connection.

Surface runs on the Windows Vista platform, but has specialized software which provides the touch and gesture interface. With the initial units costing around $10k each, Microsoft sees the initial applications for surface being in bars, restaurants, casinos, hotels and other locations where users might interact with menus, maps, games or other information without need for a mouse, keyboard or other control device. They expect to ship the first devices later this year.

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Comments (15):

  1. […] text/image via technabob […]

  2. aggnik says:

    Hello, sorry for my language i am greek and i do not know well the language. I d like to inform me for the interactive multitouch. This is marketable, it circulates in the market ? If yes where can i find it ? I wait for shorter possible information. Thanks

  3. technabob says:

    Yes. Surface is a real product, and it’s being marketed by Microsoft. As far as I know, they’re not selling it broadly yet, and have a limited number of initial installations they’re working on at present.

    However, if you’re interested in more information, you can try to contact Microsoft’s Surface department by clicking the “contact us” link on their website: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

  4. apoorvagovind says:

    is it a software or hard ware?

  5. technabob says:

    It’s a combination of software and hardware.

  6. Ron Raglin says:

    I’m the inventor of an interactive card basketball game (Numbers On The CourtTM) that teaches students math and writing that I believe can be integrated onto Microsoft’s Surface Computer Platform. In addition, as an educator with nearly 25 years of experience, I have an idea of how I believe the surface computer can revolutionize education as we know it in a way that the current tech-wired-born generation of students relate.



  7. abby says:

    hi i like his invention i am doing a project on it too, i don’t know who the inventor is do u no can u tell me

  8. technabob says:

    For more information, check out the Microsoft Surface website…


  9. sara khan says:

    me sara khan from pakistan.i m student of computer science.i want to know about this new great technology of multi touch table or screen.kindly send me more images of this new technology.

    your sincerly
    sara khan

  10. ben says:

    Make it coffie table hight and u will sale more. There arnt much uses for it right now. Look at it this way. If I owned a club, I would want it in my vip areas infront of the sofas. Make it a longer screen. What ever u do don’t make the screen smaller to cut cost! And really the only place for this in a home is infront of the sofa in the living room and also have the ability to use the tv as secondary moniter with an expandable movible touchscreen keybord application on the surface. MAKE IT HAPPEN MICROSOFT.

  11. Packscrat says:

    These would be interesting to see in a classroom-type setting…

  12. Mithun says:

    Please send detailed lessons or sessions etc regarding how Microsoft Surface Computing actually works.Mail me to mithunnarayan@in.com.

  13. malavika says:

    how is microsoft surface a hardware n also software…can u pls elaborate….

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