Microsoft Introduces Surface Computing

Posted on May 30, 2007

Microsoft has an amazing new computing technology called Microsoft Surface. Microsoft's first surface computing products will be available commercially by the end of this year. TechCrunch blogs that you may soon see it at casinos, restaurants and hotels.

A Surface computer is able to recognize physical objects from a paintbrush to a cell phone and allows hands-on, direct control of content such as photos, music and maps. Surface turns an ordinary tabletop into a dynamic surface that provides interaction with all forms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects.

The new product is aimed directly at hotels, retail establishments, restaurants and public entertainment venues and should be commercially available towards the end of the year.

It's an interesting product in that it's completely out of left field. Microsoft gives examples of ordering a beverage during a meal with just the tap of a finger and quickly browsing through music and dragging favorite songs onto a personal playlist by moving a finger across the screen. Build this into a bar and you'd get one-touch beer service although I'm not sure if they've found a way to work out when your beer glass is empty so replenishment becomes automatic, maybe in a later version.
This is an exciting advancement. Don't be surprised if strong demand for these products help bring a surface computing coffee table or wallpaper to your home much faster than is currently thought. Here is a video of Microsoft's surface computing project from PopularMechanics.com.