Surfing with the Surface

Microsoft Surface is actually a Windows PC inside a black table base with a 30-inch touchscreen in a clear acrylic frame and is powered by Windows new Operating System Vista. Five cameras that can sense nearby objects are mounted beneath the screen and users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by setting real-world items tagged with special bar-code labels on top of it. Surface also has Bluetooth 2.0, wired Ethernet 10/100 and wireless 802.11 b/g for connectivity.

The technology behind Surface is called Multi-touch. It has at least a 25-year history, beginning in 1982, with pioneering work being done at the University of Toronto (multi-touch tablets) and Bell Labs (multi-touch screens). The product idea for Surface was initially conceptualized in 2001 by Steven Bathiche of Microsoft Hardware and Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research. In October 2001, a virtual team was formed with Bathiche and Wilson as key members, to bring the idea to the next stage of development.

A version of the device was used in the 2005 Science Fiction movie The Island, which was used by Sean Bean’s character “Merrick”. Surface was unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on May 29, 2007 at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference in Carlsbad, California. Surface Computing is part of Microsoft’s Productivity and Extended Consumer Experiences Group, which is within the Entertainment & Devices division.

Prices will reportedly be $5,000 to $10,000 per unit. However Microsoft said it expects prices to drop enough to make consumer versions feasible in 3 to 5 years.

Here’s a link to a demo video of Surface on Youtube:-

Source: Wikipedia,

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