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View Full Version : Awesome new technology: Microsoft Surface



siimo
May 30th, 2007, 09:52 AM
http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

Check out the videos. I particularly like the 3rd one where they show applications like copying pics/music and paying with credit cards by dragging the items in the card. WOW!

AlexC_
May 30th, 2007, 09:56 AM
dang you beat me to it! I was just about to post this =D

Looks pretty damm cool, I've seen videos of this type of technology before, but I always thought they were some 1-off concept that wont appear for ages ... but these are coming out Winter 2007!

super breadfish
May 30th, 2007, 10:18 AM
Wow, now we can enjoy BSOD in the living room!

I don't mean to spoil the party but this seems too ambitious even for Microsoft. I'd perhaps be more convinced if there was a bit more explanation as to how it works, but sensing camera and phones with a touch screen is going to be one huge tech support headache when 90% of models aren't supported. Unless they start putting ID chips in everything, but that would mean buying a new phone, camera etc, on top of an expensive new coffee table. Cost is my other point. I can't see this being cheap. A giant touch screen and a presumably reasonable PC underneath? Hardly going to be in the budget range (well, unless there will be a "Surface Basic"...).

EDIT: quoting the fact sheet: "will be able to recognize actual unique objects that have identification tags similar to bar codes.". Wasn't far off then. But apparently there is no touch screen, and instead uses cameras and a rear projection display.

BuffaloX
May 30th, 2007, 10:30 AM
Weird I have no sound when playing those flash videos.
Usually sound works OK for me.
Anyone know what audio codec they use?

I looked at all three videos, and never saw any new technology applied.
Just some touch screen used in various ways, together with an interface with graphic effects.
It's a refinement of existing technologies, and a demo of how it can be used when combined.
Maybe I missed some point due to my lack of audio?

renzokuken
May 30th, 2007, 10:38 AM
they are being sold to a select group of companies, including t-mobile, for about $5000-$10000 each for now. although prices are expected to drop to consumer levesls within a year or two.

i read about it on The Times (UK national paper) website

siimo
May 30th, 2007, 10:39 AM
If you read the post above yours you will know it is not touch screen!

JC_510
May 30th, 2007, 10:39 AM
One part of me thinks "Thats absolutely amazing!! Imagine going to a bar/restaurant, and ordering the drinks and food in from the damn table, then just putting your credit card down, and being able to split the bill like it says in the third video (which is always a right pain)

And it would be really cool to be able to organise music in that way, and all of the interactivity between different devices is brilliant"

But these devices are going to require new technology, like RFID tags or something (hey, I wonder if people with implanted RFID chips will be able to share thoughts with each other:p), and what's security like? and the cost, etc.

Also, I can't really imagine computing without some form of keyboard in a practical way. I guess the only way to tell is to actually use one :confused:

BuffaloX
May 30th, 2007, 10:49 AM
Wow, now we can enjoy BSOD in the living room!
I don't mean to spoil the party but this seems too ambitious even for Microsoft. I'd perhaps be more convinced if there was a bit more explanation as to how it works, but sensing camera and phones with a touch screen is going to be one huge tech support headache when 90% of models aren't supported. Unless they start putting ID chips in everything, but that would mean buying a new phone, camera etc, on top of an expensive new coffee table. Cost is my other point. I can't see this being cheap. A giant touch screen and a presumably reasonable PC underneath? Hardly going to be in the budget range (well, unless there will be a "Surface Basic"...).

EDIT: quoting the fact sheet: "will be able to recognize actual unique objects that have identification tags similar to bar codes.". Wasn't far off then. But apparently there is no touch screen, and instead uses cameras and a rear projection display.

Visual object recognition isn't new, and something like bluetooth might be very helpful, both for communication with and identification of the gadgets. That way object recognition only need to determine which of the currently available objects are in use, any guesswork can be removed, by implementing radio trigonometry on the bluetooth signals.

If a standard is implemented, that become popular, vendors will support it eventually.
Microsoft would probably avoid existing standards, so they can control the market.
The point where MS really has the advantage, is that they have so much money, they can afford to put something like this to market, and loose money for years.

Ozor Mox
May 30th, 2007, 11:07 AM
This does look cool, but the bit where they were copying music from one MP3 player to another made me laugh! I was expecting it to give her finger an electric shock or something! ;)

proalan
May 30th, 2007, 11:11 AM
This idea isn't as original as they are making it out to be, most of its application in the demo seems to be to sell stuff you don't need in that corporate market way. Its just THE latest gimick surfacing (excuse the pun) at the moment.

Great way to sell stuff on shop floors, but looks useless for actual practical computing. Wonder what the blue screen looks like on this thing too.

Tux Aubrey
May 30th, 2007, 11:13 AM
I was expecting it to give her finger an electric shock or something!

You obviously haven't seen the DRM'ed version.:p

They should combine this with the new thin film technology from Sony and make an intelligent trampoline. The market would be HUGE!

louieb
May 30th, 2007, 11:40 AM
Ever heard the joke about the devil and hells demo?

happy-and-lost
May 30th, 2007, 12:01 PM
I'm a little hesitant about including RFID chips in personally identifiable objects. For example, my current UK passport has an RFID chip in it, theoretically allowing anything close enough to scan my identity and possibly use it for goodness only knows what.

Wouldn't put my passport near an RFID scanning device running Windows, it may be hijacked... :p

kanem
May 30th, 2007, 12:18 PM
The video I saw at Cnet showed them using objects without RFID or any other tag. For special effects some items needed to be tagged. But for most objects, if you just care about making a mark on the surface or dragging items around, you don't need anything. He took an ordinary paint brush and started painting with it.

People are dismissing this as if it's just a gimmick. Maybe if it were just to be used in stores and such. But as an amateur artist, this, to me, is the most awesome thing ever. I don't understand how someone can not be impressed. Yes, it's "just a touch screen", but one with some incredibly powerful software behind it.

christhemonkey
May 30th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Reminds me a lot of the reactable:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm_FzLya8y4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h-RhyopUmc&mode=user&search=

Although it is only used for music making it has been around before microsoft surface...

mozetti
May 30th, 2007, 12:55 PM
This is the same kind of technology Apple is using for their iPhone interface. This is just on a larger scale. And of course there will be folks coming in here and immediately dismissing it because it's from MS, but the one post so far that has done that is completely uninformed. Take the time to read an article or two about it -- I read the one on cnet.com. This is pretty impressive stuff, and all involved have acknowledged that this is currently only attractive in corporate environments. T-mobile is going to use the technology for kiosks showing off their phones; other customers are a hotel chain and casinos. For those purposes, this technology is ideal and has arrived. Pretty cool!

kbozen
May 30th, 2007, 01:04 PM
"... is powered by a fairly standard high-end Vista PC with an off-the-shelf graphics card, 3GHz Pentium 4 processor and 2GB of memory. To make the touch screen work, Microsoft crams a lot of other stuff into its tabletop unit. Underneath the roughly textured scratch-proof and spill-proof surface covering the top of the unit, five infrared cameras sense fingers or other objects touching the surface, while a DLP projector turned on its side generates the screen image people see."

"The expensive components required to allow multiple users to touch the device simultaneously give it a price tag approaching $10,000 (5,057). "

from http://news.zdnet.co.uk/emergingtech/0,1000000183,39287279,00.htm

prizrak
May 30th, 2007, 02:08 PM
Cheap Bump Top knock off....

red_Marvin
May 30th, 2007, 02:13 PM
looks like an FTIR based screen

tehbeermang
May 30th, 2007, 02:48 PM
Cool technology, but the commercials remind me of those "You Will" AT&T commercials from 1992 or so.

brim4brim
May 30th, 2007, 03:02 PM
All the its nothing new posts are nonsense.

This has a lot of potential and it doesn't matter that they didn't use new technology, they integrated technologies in an innovative way to make a great product.

If it actually gets to market and works as easily as it does in the video's, it'll be brillant. I think the security, marketing and other invested interests like the DRM example earlier will ruin the ease of use by insisting on stupid things that Ms will only be too happy to put in to please them.

I think what would be great is an Open Source version that you can install alongside or over the Ms software that does many of the same things.

I really want to play with one of these things though. I'd buy one if it was reasonably priced.

zugu
May 30th, 2007, 03:15 PM
All haters repeat after me: "it's an awesome, exciting Microsoft product". There, I said it.

Somenoob
May 30th, 2007, 03:19 PM
Body motion interfaces are overrated. I prefer the keyboard.

But looks elegant, I'll give them that.

elpichi
May 30th, 2007, 03:27 PM
i'm wondering how affordable this "surface" is going to be. I saw the videos and in my opinion i think they want to make it like another piece of furniture, it's pretty amazing what it could do but, wow a highly technological piece like this, used as a table?

Sunflower1970
May 30th, 2007, 03:34 PM
It looks interesting, and I can see a lot of business uses for it...but I'm leary about just a regular person's use...The size of the thing. Coffeetable. I don't want to be buying a new coffeetable every year-2 years because the one I have is obsolete.

This actually looks like the video I saw of a virtual desktop for a regular computer...I don't remember what it was called. It looked really cool, but not something I'd use...

I'm sure this is the way of the future, from MS, to Apple, and Linux (and beyond)...and if/when this technology becomes travel-size, I'd be interested...but until then, I'll stick with what I've got :)

brim4brim
May 30th, 2007, 03:34 PM
i'm wondering how affordable this "surface" is going to be. I saw the videos and in my opinion i think they want to make it like another piece of furniture, it's pretty amazing what it could do but, wow a highly technological piece like this, used as a table?

Well the device costs 10,000 at the moment but they are trying to get it affordable in the next 2 years according to another post in the thread.

Initially it is for shops.

I imagine if they mass market, it'll be outsourced to different companies to integrate the screen into their designer tables in some way. ie. Ms produces the machine and screen and they provide the case/shell to go around it.

starcraft.man
May 30th, 2007, 03:38 PM
You know, I have no faith in MS to deliver such a product. They have promised time and time again a whole box of goodies and by the time they get it out its a half empty box with regular (to substandard) milk chocolate. Just look at everything longhorn had, before it got released as (crippled) Vista... in any case, I don't much care for it, I've got a keyboard and mouse and have had one for 15+ years and am really happy with it as an interface.

Not to mention, MS did not invent/pioneer this... Canadians at UoT did, followed in conjunction with Bell Labs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-touch#_note-4)

Call me a grumpy sceptic.

hoboken
May 30th, 2007, 03:47 PM
Super hot stuff there, Microsoft. You are ALL grumpy skeptics, lol, this product has incredible potential. Also, what would be the point in a travel size version? That would just defeat the purpose.

This would be for more than just bigcorp use, imagine having that coffee table in your living room and messing around with all your digital devices like that...

They REALLY need a multiple select thingy though, imagine dragging songs one by one into your mp3 player... no way..

starcraft.man
May 30th, 2007, 03:53 PM
This would be for more than just bigcorp use, imagine having that coffee table in your living room and messing around with all your digital devices like that...


I can imagine someone in my house spilling coffee/tea on it if thats where you put it...... somehow I just don't see it being a must have for the world.

Sunflower1970
May 30th, 2007, 03:54 PM
This would be for more than just bigcorp use, imagine having that coffee table in your living room and messing around with all your digital devices like that...

That's what I'm leary of. This would mean buying a new 'coffee table' every few years to keep it updated...Coffee tables in my family are used for years and years and years. Usually made of wood..Sturdy, and decorative. Something to put my feet on and lounge while watching TV. Place a snack on, or some books or a flower arrangement :)

I would no longer feel right about putting my feet on it..and can you imagine, if my socks had one of those little chips in it? All of a sudden my 'table' would be telling me something about my socks! Or if I have bare feet, it'd be telling me to get my feet off of it :D Don't need a table 'talking' to me.

MellonCollie
May 30th, 2007, 03:59 PM
I would no longer feel right about putting my feet on it..and can you imagine, if my socks had one of those little chips in it? All of a sudden my 'table' would be telling me something about my socks!


It'll be able to detect that you have a hole in one of your socks, and it'll automatically order you a new pair from an online retailer. :)

pcjoe
May 30th, 2007, 04:08 PM
I can imagine someone in my house spilling coffee/tea on it if thats where you put it...... somehow I just don't see it being a must have for the world.


"... is powered by a fairly standard high-end Vista PC with an off-the-shelf graphics card, 3GHz Pentium 4 processor and 2GB of memory. To make the touch screen work, Microsoft crams a lot of other stuff into its tabletop unit. Underneath the roughly textured scratch-proof and spill-proof surface covering the top of the unit, five infrared cameras sense fingers or other objects touching the surface, while a DLP projector turned on its side generates the screen image people see."

"The expensive components required to allow multiple users to touch the device simultaneously give it a price tag approaching $10,000 (5,057). "

from http://news.zdnet.co.uk/emergingtech/0,1000000183,39287279,00.htm

Spill away. I don't think anyone said it's a must have, but I have to say I'm utterly disgusted how you guys are putting down this product just because it's by Microsoft. Essentially, since the product isn't open source and powered by Linux, or some free technology, it's instantly inferior, prone to hacking, bugs, and is doomed to failure until proved otherwise. The sad part is if that someone released a "Ubuntu Surface" with 1/10th the capabilities of this product for the same price, you guys would be like
"Look, it's Linux powering a new innovation! Awesome!!!"
Without even questioning it.

It's a damn cool product that deserves a bit more than "eh, it's going to have drm and it's by Microsoft, it sucks." Maybe you'll never buy one, but it would be pretty awesome to walk in a restaurant and have these as one of your tables.

Sunflower1970
May 30th, 2007, 04:16 PM
I just thought of a cool use for something like this. Don't put it on a coffeetable, put it on the door of a fridge. That way, when I'm either low on something, or out of something, I can hold it up to the door, and have it scan either a barcode of the item, or if it recognizes produce, hold that up in front of the 'surface' (or in this case, 'door' lol) and have it create a list for me. At the end of the week, I could either print out the list and go shopping myself, or have it sent to the nearest grocery store and have it ready for me to pay, use coupons and pick it up. :)

Adamant1988
May 30th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Wow, now we can enjoy BSOD in the living room!

I don't mean to spoil the party but this seems too ambitious even for Microsoft. I'd perhaps be more convinced if there was a bit more explanation as to how it works, but sensing camera and phones with a touch screen is going to be one huge tech support headache when 90% of models aren't supported. Unless they start putting ID chips in everything, but that would mean buying a new phone, camera etc, on top of an expensive new coffee table. Cost is my other point. I can't see this being cheap. A giant touch screen and a presumably reasonable PC underneath? Hardly going to be in the budget range (well, unless there will be a "Surface Basic"...).

EDIT: quoting the fact sheet: "will be able to recognize actual unique objects that have identification tags similar to bar codes.". Wasn't far off then. But apparently there is no touch screen, and instead uses cameras and a rear projection display.

It's been years since I have seen a BSOD and actually this technology looks AMAZING. I can't wait to try it out in a year or so.

kamaboko
May 30th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Why do so many people treat their operating systems like a f'ing religion? If this were an Ubuntu invention/product there'd be nothing but praise for months on end. But, because it's a Microsoft product, damn near half the comments are dismissive or derogatory. Yes, I use MS and Ubuntu. That said....

This is an incredible product with immense possibilities. For now I see MS focusing on supporting their products (e.g., zune, PDA's and phones w/their software), and why not? It's their baby. After time, I can see other non-MS products finding support. In any case, I look forward to seeing this develop.

Lord Illidan
May 30th, 2007, 04:25 PM
I like this surface thing..however, it did seem a little laggy..when dragging photos around and stuff. However, kudos to MS...but...will it run Linux?

super breadfish
May 30th, 2007, 04:26 PM
It's a damn cool product that deserves a bit more than "eh, it's going to have drm and it's by Microsoft, it sucks." Maybe you'll never buy one, but it would be pretty awesome to walk in a restaurant and have these as one of your tables.

I don't see anyone doing that. I was doubtful because it's very ambitious, and very costly, not because it from Microsoft. It could just as well been made my Intel, Sony, Canonical even. I agree, it's a great concept, but at the same time it's big risk and could easily end up a very large doorstop.

But on the other hand, it's not really going to be that awesome going into a restaurant and having some nerd in Redmond know what you ordered...

starcraft.man
May 30th, 2007, 04:30 PM
Spill away. I don't think anyone said it's a must have, but I have to say I'm utterly disgusted how you guys are putting down this product just because it's by Microsoft. Essentially, since the product isn't open source and powered by Linux, or some free technology, it's instantly inferior, prone to hacking, bugs, and is doomed to failure until proved otherwise. The sad part is if that someone released a "Ubuntu Surface" with 1/10th the capabilities of this product for the same price, you guys would be like
"Look, it's Linux powering a new innovation! Awesome!!!"
Without even questioning it.

It's a damn cool product that deserves a bit more than "eh, it's going to have drm and it's by Microsoft, it sucks." Maybe you'll never buy one, but it would be pretty awesome to walk in a restaurant and have these as one of your tables.

Ok that is my bad (didn't see that, I just clicked on the first link and didn't see that mentioned). My two other points still stand, this technology wasn't invented/pioneered by MS (see link in my other post). Nor do I believe any such technology will dislodge the Mouse/Keyboard duo as the main interface to the PC, it (keyboard and mouse) is refined, elegant and gets the job done.

No, I'm not putting it down cuz its made by MS, I do at the same time feel they have failed to deliver on many promises they made (like Vista with all their features dropped + DRM included unnecessarily) and I can only be sceptical of this even more daring than Vista product. I mean look how Origami turned out, that was supposed to be a WOW product from MS too I might add, it hasn't done much I don't see many people using em (I do walk around my city a lot).

I see it like a gimmick, a bit like how I see the Wii (don't flame me for saying so, thats my opinion and I have used/seen it). If Ubuntu Surface came out with 1/10th the product ability, I'd be sceptical even more and more uninterested in that. Don't generalize or assume what I think, assumptions are often wrong. I don't just use a product because of name branding (or just because it has Ubuntu/Linux in the name), nor do I outright hate everything MS does. I do find many things they do to be poor choice as they are proprietary (ignore other Non windows platforms) and overall they seem to be advocating/spreading DRM wherever they go. Thus, I usually don't like what they do.

Anyway, I like my interface (keyboard and mouse) and I don't want to see this everywhere (I get the impression I'd be annoyed), you can have your own opinion too. I however, do not bash things just cuz their a certain brand (and I've seen a hell of a lot more linux bashing so don't complain). Don't in future mistake a person missing one post for bashing.

Edit:


Why do so many people treat their operating systems like a f'ing religion? If this were an Ubuntu invention/product there'd be nothing but praise for months on end. But, because it's a Microsoft product, damn near half the comments are dismissive or derogatory. Yes, I use MS and Ubuntu. That said....

Please don't curse in your posts. Secondly, your question can equally apply to Windows, I've seen many forums outright bashing linux for no reason or with ignorant comments and they outright rave over MS products (which I consider to be average or even sub par). Thirdly, my dismissive remarks about this stem from the reasons I stated above, they are valid complaints I think. Bottom line is until the technology is right in front of me, they can say whatever raving promises they like (just like they said WinFS and other Vista features would revolutionize the OS) its nothing but words.

pcjoe
May 30th, 2007, 04:57 PM
My bad man, the only part I meant to relate to your post was the spill away part ^_^; The rest of it was directed to the thread at general; no one in particular. I agree, this isn't some crazy new innovative technology; it's a lot of stuff we've seen before. But I think there's something to be said to toss all of this technology into one cohesive product.
I agree with your Nintendo gimmick thoughts as well; we have 3 Nintendo Wiis in our apartment and nearly no one touches them. It's cool to go to a friends house and play one, but I would never buy one myself (personal opinion, I know there are a lot of people that love their Wii). Same thing here; it wouldn't be too smart to purchase one of these for $5k-$10k. It's a pretty toy; I can't see myself seriously using it. But on the same token, it's just cool. I would love to go to some randing bar/restaurant/whatever and just play around with it.

mozetti
May 30th, 2007, 05:00 PM
My two other points still stand, this technology wasn't invented/pioneered by MS (see link in my other post). Nor do I believe any such technology will dislodge the Mouse/Keyboard duo as the main interface to the PC, it (keyboard and mouse) is refined, elegant and gets the job done.

Anyway, I like my interface (keyboard and mouse) and I don't want to see this everywhere (I get the impression I'd be annoyed)

For clarity's sake, all the hub-bub about this is the commercialization of the invention. Neither Apple nor Microsoft have claimed they invented the technology. Also, the Cnet article I read specifically stated that there weren't any plans on replacing keyboards/mice with the technology, rather it could enhance usability.

**EDIT**
And after thinking about it, I'm not quite sure why I posted this. But, it's here now so I'll leave it.
**/EDIT**

artir
May 30th, 2007, 05:01 PM
A very good copy of an open source program: LOW FAT

Adamant1988
May 30th, 2007, 05:09 PM
I didn't get into enough detail with my last post.

I am very excited about this product and I can't wait to get to use it for myself. Although I am interested in how this technology would allow us to play more, uhm, involved games, it will probably be a good 15-20 years before these become adopted enough to even start seeing that happen. Still, it's a very exciting prospect, although I'm not sure how I would like the touch-based interface myself, I won't knock it 'till I try it.

See, when Microsoft uses it's massive bank account and monopoly power to usher in new and great things, that's when I don't care about their 95% of the OS market. This is absolutely wonderful stuff, IMO.

Nano Geek
May 30th, 2007, 05:20 PM
I've seen videos of this type of technology before, but I always thought they were some 1-off concept that wont appear for ages ... but these are coming out Winter 2007!So we can expect these to ship some time around 2010?
;)

Edit: OK, I spoke before I saw the videos. I does indeed look very cool and it has major possibilities, if Microsoft can ship it.

Adamant1988
May 30th, 2007, 05:23 PM
So we can expect these to ship some time around 2010?
;)

It doesn't matter how long they take this ship, this year or the next, Microsoft always aims for it's deadlines to be reasonable. Vista was just an unfortunate casualty of Microsoft's ambitions ("No, this can be better, make it better!" "But, sir, the deadline was yesterday" "I don't care" ).

Nano Geek
May 30th, 2007, 05:31 PM
It doesn't matter how long they take this ship, this year or the next, Microsoft always aims for it's deadlines to be reasonable. Vista was just an unfortunate casualty of Microsoft's ambitions .Yes it was however, just about every product they have ever shipped, including Windows 1.0, has missed its release date set by Microsoft.

Adamant1988
May 30th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Yes it was however, just about every product they have ever shipped, including Windows 1.0, has missed its release date set by Microsoft.

A lot of corporate products miss their release dates, it's standard procedure anymore. Probably a marketing gimmick to keep people interested. "Man, if they delayed it I can't imagine what they're going to add, it must be amazing!"

Nano Geek
May 30th, 2007, 05:44 PM
A lot of corporate products miss their release dates, it's standard procedure anymore. Probably a marketing gimmick to keep people interested. "Man, if they delayed it I can't imagine what they're going to add, it must be amazing!"Yea, I guess you're right. But if you use Linux, you kinda have an obligation to poke at it. :)

EdThaSlayer
May 30th, 2007, 05:48 PM
First I thought that this was a Microsoft thing that they invented. They probably just bought it from the researchers at some university. Nothing big, well, the price is pretty big!!!!

Adamant1988
May 30th, 2007, 05:56 PM
Yea, I guess you're right. But if you use Linux, you kinda have an obligation to poke at it. :)

No I don't, honestly, if this technology works for me like I think it will, I'll be on one of those machines the instant I can afford it. Of course, I'll want to demo it first.

newbie2
May 30th, 2007, 06:01 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx9FgLr9oTk&mode=related&search=
:p

toasted
May 30th, 2007, 06:04 PM
Yea, I guess you're right. But if you use Linux, you kinda have an obligation to poke at it. :)
Someone finally admits it!

I forsee this taking on a slimmer shape and hanging on a wall in most everyones house controlling all functions of the household including security, heating, cooling, shopping, banking, telephony, etc.....

Adamant1988
May 30th, 2007, 06:09 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx9FgLr9oTk&mode=related&search=
:p

That's really not even comparable...

compmodder26
May 30th, 2007, 06:28 PM
That's really not even comparable...

I was just about to say the same thing.

bobbybobington
May 30th, 2007, 06:31 PM
Although I don't really like Microsoft's OS's, I've got to admit this a frickin brilliant piece of hardware. As software is becoming a commodity due to open source, Microsoft is moving to one of their greatest strong points; hardware. Surface makes sense too. It's no replacement for a pc, but it is much better suited for a simple interactive interface for devices. This is just another example of Microsoft moving from a software company to a hardware company.

Adamant1988
May 30th, 2007, 06:40 PM
Although I don't really like Microsoft's OS's, I've got to admit this a frickin brilliant piece of hardware. As software is becoming a commodity due to open source, Microsoft is moving to one of their greatest strong points; hardware. Surface makes sense too. It's no replacement for a pc, but it is much better suited for a simple interactive interface for devices. This is just another example of Microsoft moving from a software company to a hardware company.

This is happening all over the place, though. Apple has been doing this for a LONG time, selling hardware because of the software. I'm sure if Microsoft were legally able to, they'd step right into the PC market themselves, who knows, maybe they still will..

altonbr
May 30th, 2007, 06:52 PM
Microsoft is good at making things look pretty, not functional. The graphic design team they hire is out of this world.

But look at the crap they also produce: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/archives/2007/01/microsoft_takes_email_design_b.html

kamaboko
May 30th, 2007, 06:56 PM
Yes it was however, just about every product they have ever shipped, including Windows 1.0, has missed its release date set by Microsoft.

And this is unique to large international companies? God, I've worked with hundreds of contractors and rarely do they come in on the set date of completion. Ever had a delay at the auto shop? Stuff happens.

kamaboko
May 30th, 2007, 06:59 PM
Microsoft is good at making things look pretty, not functional. The graphic design team they hire is out of this world.

But look at the crap they also produce: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/archives/2007/01/microsoft_takes_email_design_b.html

Oh darn! Email won't be pretty anymore? Boo hoo hoo hoo...(stomping feet).

Mazza558
May 30th, 2007, 07:46 PM
http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

Looks nifty. Not sure if it will sell, but I'mglad Microsoft have managed to innovate again.

compmodder26
May 30th, 2007, 07:47 PM
Currently being discussed here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=458883

joflow
May 30th, 2007, 08:35 PM
I remember stumbling around an open source project that did something very similar to what the surface can do with photos. It used OpenGL. Anyone know the name of that project?

BLTicklemonster
May 30th, 2007, 08:56 PM
Looks familiar...

DoctorMO
May 30th, 2007, 09:53 PM
And of course there will be folks coming in here and immediately dismissing it because it's from MS

It doesn't matter how good the technology is, or how innovative they are. Microsoft are an immoral business conducting immoral practices that I refuse to sanction. This technology they have bought from someone else looks good but it falls into irrelevance because it's from Microsoft; since I'd be breaking my principles by promoting, using or buying it.

Sorry but there are more important things than drooling over what billions of pounds can buy you.

spanella47
May 30th, 2007, 10:00 PM
Lowfat by MacSlow is very similar without the multitouch capabilities.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHuYELwMAjI
project website is lacking at the moment becuase the developer is working on Pigment (the graphical backend to Elisa - media center project)
http://macslow.thepimp.net/?page_id=18

pretty sure multi-touch in his future plans. all that would be needed then is a coffee table to boot up ;)

although this would be cool, his current work on Pigment is also crucial to bring some graphical beauty to Linux

phrostbyte
May 30th, 2007, 10:26 PM
Spill away. I don't think anyone said it's a must have, but I have to say I'm utterly disgusted how you guys are putting down this product just because it's by Microsoft. Essentially, since the product isn't open source and powered by Linux, or some free technology, it's instantly inferior, prone to hacking, bugs, and is doomed to failure until proved otherwise. The sad part is if that someone released a "Ubuntu Surface" with 1/10th the capabilities of this product for the same price, you guys would be like
"Look, it's Linux powering a new innovation! Awesome!!!"
Without even questioning it.

It's a damn cool product that deserves a bit more than "eh, it's going to have drm and it's by Microsoft, it sucks." Maybe you'll never buy one, but it would be pretty awesome to walk in a restaurant and have these as one of your tables.

Seriously, this is made by Micro$oft, so it will be vastly inferior, prone to hacking, bugs, and doomed to failure until proved otherwise. :) Oh and Microsoft is an illegal monopoly sucking money illegitly from the computer industry as we speak. Deal with it.

Bloodfen Razormaw
May 31st, 2007, 03:32 AM
This idea is doomed to failure for the simple reason that it is a moronic step backwards. Computers improved productivity by letting us do things in ways we couldn't using real world objects. Now we are just imitating that inefficiency with a computer. Finally I can handle photos like I had to back before we had computers, only now it costs me $10000! Awesome!

kamaboko
May 31st, 2007, 04:24 AM
This idea is doomed to failure for the simple reason that it is a moronic step backwards. Computers improved productivity by letting us do things in ways we couldn't using real world objects. Now we are just imitating that inefficiency with a computer. Finally I can handle photos like I had to back before we had computers, only now it costs me $10000! Awesome!

Yeah, I remember when I wanted a Trash 80 and people said, "A computer? What the hell would you do with that?" Or when my parents got a microwave in 1975. "What's the point of having a microwave when you've got an oven?", people asked. And power windows for cars. God, who would have thought that idea would have gone anywhere? "Why do you want power windows when you can just roll the windows up and down?" And how about flat screen TV's?

My point being...don't be so short sided on the possibilities. Just 5 years ago people were dropping $15K+ on 42" Plasma TV's. Now you can get them for less than $1500. Remember those old 286 computers selling for over $5K in the day? The MS Surface will take off and be a hit. Give it a few years for christ sake. They JUST introduced it.

enopepsoo
May 31st, 2007, 04:33 AM
...The MS Surface will take off and be a hit...like Zune

JAPrufrock
May 31st, 2007, 04:35 AM
More crap to further consumerism- as if we didn't have enough already. The ultimate design to make taking your money almost painless. We don't need it. It's not cool, it's revolting.

RAV TUX
May 31st, 2007, 04:35 AM
Not impressed by the tabletop surface technology no matter who is developing it.....but I do look forward to technology that will rise after this.

Keep in mind even this technology is still technically in the dark ages.

Again I look forward to future technology that will follow this but to look forward you only have to look back...look back to a author who envisioned this years ago....Did anyone else think of Philip K. ****'s Minority Report?

The table top surface computer reminds me of the old video game quarter arcades....comparatively speaking to wants available now....

I was also thinking how archaic the credit card version of the video seemed when I can walk two blocks away to my local Whole Foods (Grocery Store) and only use my fingertip to pay for grocers...honestly most businesses are moving away from Credit Cards....

Anyway perhaps the credit card skit was just meant for a visual, if they had shown the same concept of everybody using their fingerprint to pay then the video would have been longer....

It does look fun but I am not impressed....

Now the music concept I can see happening with Apple, where they would develop their own table top computer and......nah......never mind it just seems silly I am sorry folks.....lets talk about the technology to follow this instead.

Anybody read the Singularity is Near (http://singularity.com/)?

http://ubuntuforums.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=33900&d=1180584178

or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (http://www.philipkdick.com/works_novels_androids.html)

http://ubuntuforums.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=33901&d=1180584178

Microsoft Surface?....neato stuff in a wheeeee! kind of way.


(PS: I hope my view points don't offend anybody to the point that the masses rise up in anger to de-mod me....oh wait that already happen.....hahaha ;))<------>just joking here folks

RAV TUX
May 31st, 2007, 04:35 AM
More crap to further consumerism- as if we didn't have enough already. The ultimate design to make taking your money almost painless. We don't need it. It's not cool, it's revolting.that Amish version of Ubuntu is looking more and more tempting ;)

Polygon
May 31st, 2007, 04:56 AM
I could of swore i saw a video almost exactly like this a couple years ago, and i heard that apple had licenced the technology....

The only real thing that looked kinda cool was the thing where you put your cellphone / music player on a little pad and then you can do stuff to it. Even if someone just made a little pad that interfaced with devices using some standard that you could put next to your computer, it would be really nice. Putting your cellphone, media player, or camera on a pad and having it connect to your computer without using any cables is a lot easier then keeping track of the multitude of cables for each device.

sloggerkhan
May 31st, 2007, 05:15 AM
I remember the one that apple supposedly had licensed or developed... And it looked more functional, if I recal correctly....

To the person who brought up Low Fat, it reminded me of it, too.

And to the person who pointed out that it's not an efficient interface:

I agree, but most users want something that's idiot proof and 100% over "intuitive" whether it takes 20 years or not.
This is why many consumer will love something that makes them less productive and that they have less control over. This is why many people would be happy if someone else ran their life.

RAV TUX
May 31st, 2007, 05:19 AM
I am more impressed with Spectroglass. (http://www.spectroglass.com/page3.html)

Adamant1988
May 31st, 2007, 05:25 AM
I remember the one that apple supposedly had licensed or developed... And it looked more functional, if I recal correctly....

To the person who brought up Low Fat, it reminded me of it, too.

And to the person who pointed out that it's not an efficient interface:

I agree, but most users want something that's idiot proof and 100% over "intuitive" whether it takes 20 years or not.
This is why many consumer will love something that makes them less productive and that they have less control over. This is why many people would be happy if someone else ran their life.

In some ways, it may very well be an inefficient interface. On the other hand though, it may make us even more productive and efficient. Now, what we've seen off it so far doesn't scream efficiency; however, that's not to say that there isn't functionality we didn't see. Yes, it allows us to view photos, documents, etc, exactly like we would real documents... but who's to say that the technology we've seen come into play so far (search, etc.) won't exist on this machine?

I dare say that the technology could very well enable us to be MUCH more productive, and efficient.

sloggerkhan
May 31st, 2007, 05:27 AM
I think the person who said it made a lot of sense for art was right on with that use.

JAPrufrock
May 31st, 2007, 05:39 AM
that Amish version of Ubuntu is looking more and more tempting ;)

How insensitive- I'm a Marxist economist.

Spr0k3t
May 31st, 2007, 07:42 AM
I won't be the first to say I hope it's doomed to failure. I say this with many reasons in mind:

1. Microsoft
- There's only one piece of hardware that Microsoft released that was decent (Natural Keyboard)
- They are using the monopolistic strong arm to bury existing projects
- It's Microsoft... duh
2. Table top computing
- How am I supposed to use something like this when I'm relaxing?
- Anti-ergonomic
- Shouldn't we have a full 3D environment by now?
3. Marketing Hype to the max
- This seems to be targeted at the super rich with nothing else left to buy
- All we need now is advertising on top of a table

To me, this technology of multi-tactile interfacing could have been done better. I'm proud to admit that I hate it simply for the fact it has the Microsoft branding. Part of me wonders which company Microsoft devoured to be able to create such a thing.

ade234uk
May 31st, 2007, 08:48 AM
The trouble with this ****, is that you don't get any downtime away from computer screens.

When you work 8 hours a day behind a screen last thing you want to do is look at another screen on your sodding coffee table when you get back.

Computers are work tools and they should remain this way. Its nice to sometimes shut a computer down, and interact with real people go for a walk in the real world.

I can see the benefits of Surface for Business, but thats about it. I would want one in my house period, and I certainly don't want Microsoft invading the television, fridge, car, bedroom.

Sceptical
May 31st, 2007, 09:54 AM
There's an interesting discussion of this on The Register (a UK-based IT news site):

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/30/surface_computing/comments/#c_16360

mcduck
May 31st, 2007, 12:42 PM
What's the new thing here? Apple has had Multitouch for long time, and there's even similiar thing hanging on the wall in Helsinki: http://www.citywall.org (Powered by Ubuntu!).

Once again Microsoft is selling old thing as something new and their own :P

Simran
May 31st, 2007, 12:46 PM
This may just be me stereotyping, but this is all looks great and fantastic ... untill it crashes or gets full of viruses i guess we don't know the exact details but i wouldn't rule this out. You can't exactly say this is a far fetched idea? ^^

forrestcupp
May 31st, 2007, 03:15 PM
What's the new thing here? Apple has had Multitouch for long time, and there's even similiar thing hanging on the wall in Helsinki: http://www.citywall.org (Powered by Ubuntu!).

Once again Microsoft is selling old thing as something new and their own :P

That's right. Microsoft steals another technology. Here is a video from over a year ago that shows almost exactly the same things that the Surface website shows, and it's not Microsoft.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp-y3ZNaCqs

I'm sure they will get a patent on it and sue the original creators.


p.s. sorry if this video has already been posted.

Calash
May 31st, 2007, 05:00 PM
The Popular Mechanics site has a nice interview view of this in action, with the transfer between devices in real time.

The tech is very impressive, and between this and the iPhone we are looking at the possible future of home computing appliances. For visual tasks these are amazing, imagine recording a TV show, then put your cell phone on the table and drag it over, all the encoding is done behind the scenes.

Where I think these are lacking is where the keyboard excels, data entry. We would need to see a type of hybrid device...a wall surface with wireless keyboards before this would threaten to become a main stream business device.

Still, the possibility is very promising. This device could link with some of the other "smart home" devices to visually manage your entire house. Very cool...and kind of scary when you think of how much may end up becoming dependant on this type of tech.

Bronto
May 31st, 2007, 10:27 PM
That's right. Microsoft steals another technology...

True. Check the date on this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLhMVNdplJc

Bloodfen Razormaw
May 31st, 2007, 11:21 PM
My point being...don't be so short sided on the possibilities. Just 5 years ago people were dropping $15K+ on 42" Plasma TV's. Now you can get them for less than $1500. Remember those old 286 computers selling for over $5K in the day? The MS Surface will take off and be a hit. Give it a few years for christ sake. They JUST introduced it.
You seem to have drastically missed the point. It could even cost $20, it doesn't change the fact that manipulating files as if they are real objects is not efficient. The entire reason computers were adopted by people and industry is that they let them do things faster. This software specifically is intended to make people manipulate data in slower ways than we can now.

The technology to manipulate photos by hand has existed since photos have existed. It's pretty worthless technology that lets me take a step back to the way they handled their photographs in the civil war era. Next how about we spend years developing a radical new mineral that can create sparks when struck, so that we have a whole new innovative way to make a fire! :p

st33med
May 31st, 2007, 11:34 PM
*sigh* I have to say that this does look amazing, but really? Putting a glass on the table and it "instanttly" recognize it is a drink? Sure, it may the recognize the shape, but what if I put something else circular on there, like a ball or round piece of paper? Not to mention having RFIDS on every single glass would be a hassle. And Zune's automatically accepting music? Well, then, I hope they're stretching the very fine line there. Commercial use? That's weird, they would have people possibly destroying these things by just even slamming a fist on there.

Most likely, this is really overhype. Like the time they overhyped Media Center when it doesn't even recognize my video games or music I bought. They said it would replace DVR boxes or take your phone calls or even watch TV! Have you seen a lot of computers cable-ready?

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, I'm saying this is complete overhype. Not to mention they are completely buying out other company's inventions.

BOBSONATOR
May 31st, 2007, 11:40 PM
Wow.

Adamant1988
May 31st, 2007, 11:42 PM
*sigh* I have to say that this does look amazing, but really? Putting a glass on the table and it "instanttly" recognize it is a drink? Sure, it may the recognize the shape, but what if I put something else circular on there, like a ball or round piece of paper? Not to mention having RFIDS on every single glass would be a hassle. And Zune's automatically accepting music? Well, then, I hope they're stretching the very fine line there. Commercial use? That's weird, they would have people possibly destroying these things by just even slamming a fist on there.

Most likely, this is really overhype. Like the time they overhyped Media Center when it doesn't even recognize my video games or music I bought. They said it would replace DVR boxes or take your phone calls or even watch TV! Have you seen a lot of computers cable-ready?

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, I'm saying this is complete overhype. Not to mention they are completely buying out other company's inventions.

It seems like the 'surface' in that particular segment was specially modified for the needs of the restaurant. Also, you're entirely correct that it does seem like a bit of a stretch, perhaps it's using some kind of temperature reading? There are some possibilities for sure.

st33med
May 31st, 2007, 11:58 PM
Completely true, they could be reading the temperature. However, I fear this will suck kids into Myspace and stuff even more because they can go anywhere and do it. Also, I remember the video saying the table could do the transactions for you.
SCARY!!!!
Malicious hackers going into it by using bugs, hacking to it if it has wireless or an Ethernet jack available. I'm not trusting Microsoft with that. If they remove the Admin user doing whatever they want, then we'll see.

And again, I'm not dissing Microsoft for this innovation. It is a cool idea, and we'll wait and see if this really takes off.

kamaboko
June 1st, 2007, 12:10 AM
*sigh* I have to say that this does look amazing, but really? Putting a glass on the table and it "instanttly" recognize it is a drink? Sure, it may the recognize the shape, but what if I put something else circular on there, like a ball or round piece of paper? Not to mention having RFIDS on every single glass would be a hassle. And Zune's automatically accepting music? Well, then, I hope they're stretching the very fine line there. Commercial use? That's weird, they would have people possibly destroying these things by just even slamming a fist on there.

Most likely, this is really overhype. Like the time they overhyped Media Center when it doesn't even recognize my video games or music I bought. They said it would replace DVR boxes or take your phone calls or even watch TV! Have you seen a lot of computers cable-ready?

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, I'm saying this is complete overhype. Not to mention they are completely buying out other company's inventions.

Yeah, I imagine the slew of engineers working on this project over the years never even considered your thoughts. :rolleyes:

Adamant1988
June 1st, 2007, 12:11 AM
Completely true, they could be reading the temperature. However, I fear this will suck kids into Myspace and stuff even more because they can go anywhere and do it. Also, I remember the video saying the table could do the transactions for you.
SCARY!!!!
Malicious hackers going into it by using bugs, hacking to it if it has wireless or an Ethernet jack available. I'm not trusting Microsoft with that. If they remove the Admin user doing whatever they want, then we'll see.

And again, I'm not dissing Microsoft for this innovation. It is a cool idea, and we'll wait and see if this really takes off.

In Microsoft's defense, they truly have been working to further system security. UAC, etc. is a wonderful idea, just the implementation isn't great.. I expect Vista to improve considerably in this area as more updates and service packs arise. Let's not forget, XP was absolutely terrible from a security standpoint when it was first release, and over time service packs helped to make the operating system much more secure than it originally was. I expect the same for Vista (which is what powers these machines).

Haegin
June 1st, 2007, 03:55 PM
I have a few questions about the different concepts:
Photos:
1. When my camera has more photos than the size of my coffee table can support will all the photos be so tiny they are impossible to distinguish without eye strain or will I just have to spend half an hour finding the set of 15 I want to see out of the 640 I have on the card?
2. Why do I want to use two hands to manipulate all the photos when I can use one on a mouse and do it faster?
3. How does the batch re-sizer or re-namer work?

Shopping:
1. How do I put my pin in without everybody seeing me drawing it in big numbers across the table after a meal? (I could say the same for passwords)

Music:
1. Can I really load it on multiple devices and how does it fit in with DRM.

Internet:
1. Does the length of the emails you send depend on anything more than how fat your finger is?
2. How will the web (most of which is designed for viewing on a PC) convert to this coffee table format?

General:
1. Can my coffee table talk to my fridge, sound system, alarm system etc? This could be quite nice to use it as a central control system for the digital home idea.

brim4brim
June 1st, 2007, 05:08 PM
I have a few questions about the different concepts:
Photos:
2. Why do I want to use two hands to manipulate all the photos when I can use one on a mouse and do it faster?


Because its more intuitive and easier to understand.



Internet:
2. How will the web (most of which is designed for viewing on a PC) convert to this coffee table format?


The same way it does on Nintendo's Wii Console or PSP or Opera on Nintendo DS. The Wii version of Opera would probably be quite similar.

corstar
June 1st, 2007, 05:14 PM
Sorry, but this will be a MS bashing rant.....

What are the dev's as MS doing, scouring the net to see what to rip off next?

I have seen to examples of real "Touchscreen" interfaces, one Definitly running linux (gnome even).

The first was a gnome user/dev who posted vids on his site and had that EXACT Photo interface with the fingers in each corner to resize etc.
I will hunt out my old bookmarks to find the site. I first seen his vids at least 1 1/2 years ago. He started the intro out with "hey, welcome to jackass"

The second example was a dude who presesnted a similar interface to the above, but it seemed a little more advanced with heat registered art apps and all kinds of crazy stuff.
His videos were on the "TED Talks" website.

The MS one is not even a real touch screen....the above two are....rant over...

Haegin
June 1st, 2007, 05:14 PM
Because its more intuitive and easier to understand.[QUOTE]
But for people who are used to PCs its a huge step backwards.

[QUOTE=brim4brim;2761834]
The same way it does on Nintendo's Wii Console or PSP or Opera on Nintendo DS. The Wii version of Opera would probably be quite similar.
I still have reservations about how well these will work and whether you can get the full benefit of the web without a keyboard.

Adamant1988
June 1st, 2007, 05:37 PM
Sorry, but this will be a MS bashing rant.....

What are the dev's as MS doing, scouring the net to see what to rip off next?

I have seen to examples of real "Touchscreen" interfaces, one Definitly running linux (gnome even).

The first was a gnome user/dev who posted vids on his site and had that EXACT Photo interface with the fingers in each corner to resize etc.
I will hunt out my old bookmarks to find the site. I first seen his vids at least 1 1/2 years ago. He started the intro out with "hey, welcome to jackass"

The second example was a dude who presesnted a similar interface to the above, but it seemed a little more advanced with heat registered art apps and all kinds of crazy stuff.
His videos were on the "TED Talks" website.

The MS one is not even a real touch screen....the above two are....rant over...

What, you mean sort of like the Linux community does? I don't care where you are, who you are, or what operating system you use, the truth of the matter is this: Innovations are truly rare. Most 'innovation' you see is taking someone else's idea and manipulating it into something different. I've seen people rigging up their Ubuntu or Gnome setups with touch screens and this technology far surpasses anything they did with those.

corstar
June 1st, 2007, 08:08 PM
What, you mean sort of like the Linux community does? I don't care where you are, who you are, or what operating system you use, the truth of the matter is this: Innovations are truly rare. Most 'innovation' you see is taking someone else's idea and manipulating it into something different. I've seen people rigging up their Ubuntu or Gnome setups with touch screens and this technology far surpasses anything they did with those.

Fair comment, but..The point I should have made here is that MS have taken an alpha product and made it worse...ie, no touch screen. It's only using camera's.

I'm not against innovation. Just bad Innovation.

BTW, heres the name and some links to the original post

JEFF HAN
http://cs.nyu.edu/~jhan/

youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiS-W9aeG0s

corstar
June 1st, 2007, 08:27 PM
I'll also give credit where it's due.
Kudos to MS for the credit card debit and tip system,that was very well done.

Also, integrating all the wireless appliances into one unique interface, also well done, although seen elsewhere..

Adamant1988
June 1st, 2007, 08:27 PM
Fair comment, but..The point I should have made here is that MS have taken an alpha product and made it worse...ie, no touch screen. It's only using camera's.

I'm not against innovation. Just bad Innovation.

BTW, heres the name and some links to the original post

JEFF HAN
http://cs.nyu.edu/~jhan/

youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiS-W9aeG0s

In my opinion it's a step forward from touch screens, and probably more accurate.

corstar
June 1st, 2007, 08:45 PM
To have camera's to act as the "middle man" really seems to be a rather analog approach to a digital problem.

Why add that extra layer of complexity if you can totally bypass it (the technology already exists to do so).
That's why it seems to be a step backwards to me.

kamaboko
June 1st, 2007, 08:54 PM
To have camera's to act as the "middle man" really seems to be a rather analog approach to a digital problem.

Why add that extra layer of complexity if you can totally bypass it (the technology already exists to do so).
That's why it seems to be a step backwards to me.

So do you think all the powers that be at MS didn't consider any of your thoughts while developing this product? If you were to walk in there today and say, "hey..analog is a bad way to go", that they'd say, "Really? Wow...that never crossed our mind. Please inform us." LOL. I'm sure they considered many options.

corstar
June 1st, 2007, 09:15 PM
I'm sure they (MS) considered the touch screen option.

But for the life of me, I can't see any benefit of having more hardware stacked on when the same and possibly better outcome can be used with less. Surely. that would mean a little less on the cost and most importantly, less latency during data transfers.

If you think I'm wrong, explain why they're way is better..

kamaboko
June 1st, 2007, 09:30 PM
I'm sure they (MS) considered the touch screen option.

But for the life of me, I can't see any benefit of having more hardware stacked on when the same and possibly better outcome can be used with less. Surely. that would mean a little less on the cost and most importantly, less latency during data transfers.

If you think I'm wrong, explain why they're way is better..

Do I know why they have chosen the direction they've taken? No. At the same time, I feel confident that during much of the RD of this project, many many options were put on the table and diligently examined. I've worked on developing projects with people, and there's always the outsider rolling their eyes saying, "they should have thought of this and that and the other", when in fact we did. And when I begin to explain our reasons for not going that route (and they see the bigger picture) I get the "Ohh...OK. I see now. I hadn't thought of the other stuff".

siimo
June 1st, 2007, 09:49 PM
To have camera's to act as the "middle man" really seems to be a rather analog approach to a digital problem.

Why add that extra layer of complexity if you can totally bypass it (the technology already exists to do so).
That's why it seems to be a step backwards to me.


The cameras are probably being used to scan the ID/barcode of whatever of devices placed on the surface. with conventional touchscreen it will be impossible to differenciate between a credit card placed on the surface or just a plain paper or someones palm

bigbang
June 1st, 2007, 09:51 PM
people are acting like this is something well out of our league. its not! M$ have filled this up with technology that is expensive and unnessary. you can build you own if you have around 500, check this (http://www.slashgear.com/make-your-own-multitouch-projected-table-284137.php) link out.so the point is: we shouldnt be sitting around her discusing how well microsoft have done in making this "amazing" new technology, instead we should be talking about how we can set up a project to create a new and exciting interface for existing apps, abit like they are doing in this (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=350468&highlight=multitouch) thread but encorperating multitouch. this would be more help. ;)

corstar
June 2nd, 2007, 05:37 AM
That's an awesome idea. I've always wanted to have a shot at building a touch screen.
I think that's why the MS story hit a raw nerve with me.

Just found another Jeff Hann video. This one really shows some cool features that his product has. LINK (http://blog.centopeia.com/2007/03/21/jeff-hans-multitouch-demo-ii/)

RAV TUX
June 2nd, 2007, 08:38 PM
Honestly Microsoft Surface doesn't compare to Perceptive Pixel:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=462307
http://multi-touchscreen.com/perceptive-pixel-jeff-han.html

Edit corstar (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=19962) beat me to the punch

sam81
June 2nd, 2007, 11:34 PM
I find interacting with a touchscreen primitive and inefficient compared to keyboard+mouse, I don't really see the point of it...

RAV TUX
June 2nd, 2007, 11:38 PM
I find interacting with a touchscreen primitive and inefficient compared to keyboard+mouse, I don't really see the point of it...

Perceptive Pixel has a keyboard, check the video...it's a touchscreen keyboard.;)

kamaboko
June 3rd, 2007, 01:12 AM
Honestly Microsoft Surface doesn't compare to Perceptive Pixel:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=462307
http://multi-touchscreen.com/perceptive-pixel-jeff-han.html

Edit corstar (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=19962) beat me to the punch


Apples and oranges. I believe PP uses rear projection for rendering images. This explains why the demo's are in dark rooms and controlled lighting. Put it in a room w/day light and it would be a washed out mess. MS doesn't have this issue. Oh...and PP displays start at six figures. Quite a bit less than the MS estimate of $10K.

RAV TUX
June 3rd, 2007, 01:16 AM
Apples and oranges. I believe PP uses rear projection for rendering images. This explains why the demo's are in dark rooms and controlled lighting. Put it in a room w/day light and it would be a washed out mess. MS doesn't have this issue.

Beyond the hokus pokus of bloated technology I prefer today's technology of the Fujitsu LifeBook T4215 (http://store.shopfujitsu.com/fpc/Ecommerce/buildseriesbean.do?series=T4215), with an active digitizer pen.

kamaboko
June 3rd, 2007, 01:23 AM
Beyond the hokus pokus of bloated technology I prefer today's technology of the Fujitsu LifeBook T4215 (http://store.shopfujitsu.com/fpc/Ecommerce/buildseriesbean.do?series=T4215), with an active digitizer pen.


Huh? Not even close to the same technology.

RAV TUX
June 3rd, 2007, 01:40 AM
Huh? Not even close to the same technology.
Of course not silly, but it is simply available now.

bigbang
June 3rd, 2007, 09:56 AM
Apples and oranges. I believe PP uses rear projection for rendering images. This explains why the demo's are in dark rooms and controlled lighting. Put it in a room w/day light and it would be a washed out mess. MS doesn't have this issue. Oh...and PP displays start at six figures. Quite a bit less than the MS estimate of $10K.
i believe infact that both M$ and persetive pixel use rear projected surfaces so they both would have this problem. it does say so someware on M$ website;)
PS. i wish i had the money to make my own multi touch screen but my pc upgrade takes priority right now.
pps. it could also be possible to do a multi touch screen on the cheap with tow cameras at two corners of your screen using steroscopic vision and clever software to tell where your hand is and if its touching the screen. it wouldnt be as good as FTIR but it is a start to get people with two cameras started the hardware costs would be minimal however there would be no ability for pressure sensetivity like there is in FTIR.

adityakavoor
June 3rd, 2007, 05:43 PM
try this ..

http://citywall.org/pages/about

bigbang
June 5th, 2007, 05:20 PM
aha! i found the tutorial i was looking for. it has a very thourough guide to building your own multi touch setup for only €350 (150 if you dont want the display). and infact, they have done it in a very sprused up way which isnt all neccecary, i dont think, so maybe even less! so Linky! (http://www.multitouch.nl/documents/multitouchdisplay_howto_070523_v02.pdf)

dlai
June 9th, 2007, 02:46 PM
Hey guys look at this post: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=2810689

kragen
June 9th, 2007, 03:39 PM
These are just concept video's - as far as I can figure out, most of the technology there is years away. You can tell from the fact that when someone puts their camera down on the table, all of their pictures instantly appear - what exactly is the transfer method being used here? Why is it completely unsecured, and why is it so quick?

It all looks great, but anything produced in a short time frame wont work anywhere near as smoothly as that - I cant see this as anything more than a publicity stunt, and although they might be working towards something like this, and might even produce something that looks similar to this, most of the "wow, look at that" features shown on those vids depend on the features of the other electronic goods (the cameras and phones etc...)

Besides, its completely unusable - not once did anyone enter in any text (for example a post code when using that funky map program), and obvious security isses were't even slightly adressed. All of those vidoes lacked and indication of the parts of the OS that make it actually useful - how did they switch between applications for example?

deadowl
June 9th, 2007, 04:09 PM
Microsoft Surface isn't going to be a big deal for the average consumer. The future is in portability, and Microsoft just made a device that exploits portability. That means yes, people will use this device, but it will be more likely that they don't own their own. Once a surface computer can have a more general purpose application (tangible gaming, for instance), it might become more popular among the general public.

People won't need this tomorrow because it currently has no general purpose use. It's just a device that's greatest feature is exploiting portability. Of course that might make portable Microsoft things more popular.

@Kragen: BLUETOOTH YOU FOOL!!! BLUETOOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

init1
June 9th, 2007, 06:07 PM
This is going to need a lot of processing power, ram and HD space. Think of how powerful a desktop OS would be with that sort of hard ware. It does look cool, but not too practical.

kamaboko
June 9th, 2007, 06:25 PM
I think it would be awesome to have. Imagine having it set up at an angle like an architects table. The keyboard would be touch sensative on the screen. Transfering movies, music and whatever files to PDA's and phones would be a snap. No cables or crap to deal with. I'd gladly trade in my desktop for that any day.

deadowl
June 10th, 2007, 05:30 PM
I think it would be awesome to have. Imagine having it set up at an angle like an architects table. The keyboard would be touch sensative on the screen. Transfering movies, music and whatever files to PDA's and phones would be a snap. No cables or crap to deal with. I'd gladly trade in my desktop for that any day.

Touchscreen and projected keyboards are generally not us ed very often in the wild. The pro is that they desk space, the con with touch screens is that they use screen space (which seems less of an issue with this thing), and even MORE importantly, neither projection keyboards nor touchscreen keyboards offer any sort of tactile response. This puts the user at a bit of a disadvantage.

The biggest reason that this is not great for general use: staring down at a table is not the most relaxing posture.

Having the surface be flat rather than tilted does have at least one favorable attribute though, the fact that groups can simultaneously interact with it more easily.

Why do I say that the future is in portability though? We don't want to be restricted to a single environment for everything (music, movies, photos, documents), but we still want to be able to move things from one environment to the other (car, bicycle, television, stereo). The most impressive thing this device does is exploit the existence of many portable items (cameras, music players, credit cards, etc). Cars with hookups for iPods are one example of this kind of technology, DVD players, CD players as well, but none of them handle as many devices as this new thing. I mean, the device we want is essentially a multipurpose portable device that can share integration with different mediums for more practical use.

Nobody has really solved the entire problem of portability though. Wonder who will.

kamaboko
June 10th, 2007, 06:11 PM
Touchscreen and projected keyboards are generally not us ed very often in the wild. The pro is that they desk space, the con with touch screens is that they use screen space (which seems less of an issue with this thing), and even MORE importantly, neither projection keyboards nor touchscreen keyboards offer any sort of tactile response. This puts the user at a bit of a disadvantage.

The biggest reason that this is not great for general use: staring down at a table is not the most relaxing posture.

Having the surface be flat rather than tilted does have at least one favorable attribute though, the fact that groups can simultaneously interact with it more easily.

Why do I say that the future is in portability though? We don't want to be restricted to a single environment for everything (music, movies, photos, documents), but we still want to be able to move things from one environment to the other (car, bicycle, television, stereo). The most impressive thing this device does is exploit the existence of many portable items (cameras, music players, credit cards, etc). Cars with hookups for iPods are one example of this kind of technology, DVD players, CD players as well, but none of them handle as many devices as this new thing. I mean, the device we want is essentially a multipurpose portable device that can share integration with different mediums for more practical use.

Nobody has really solved the entire problem of portability though. Wonder who will.

I'm not talking about a portable solution, and I'm not talking about groups. I don't share my desktop with multiple people at the same time, nor do I share my laptop that way. For a stand alone solution, intentionally non-portable (e.g., regular desktop), I'd much rather have this type of system. The problem with portable solutions such as PDA's, Black Berry, etc., is that one can't get serious work done looking at a 4.5" screen, or type lengthy documents using two thumbs. Besides, the thing I dislike most about those things is that it's one more item to carry around during the day. A cell phone is enough as far as I'm concerned.

bigbang
June 11th, 2007, 06:05 PM
lots of people are talking about keyboards, why not just have voice recognition or handwriting recognition. if looking down isnt natural, why did we ever look down a pen and paper?

the8thstar
January 13th, 2008, 03:10 PM
I'm concerned about the security levels used in this kind of devices, both on an electronic and visual level. Your business is literally exposed to everyone!!! :KS