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Microsoft Surface Chelsea Cunningham What is Microsoft Surface? Project began in 2001 Introduced in 2007 A surface computing platform from Microsoft.

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microsoft surface

Microsoft Surface

Chelsea Cunningham

what is microsoft surface
What is Microsoft Surface?
  • Project began in 2001
  • Introduced in 2007
  • A surface computing platform from Microsoft.

“Microsoft Surface represents a fundamental change in the way we interact with digital content. With Surface, we can actually grab data with our hands, and move information between objects with natural gestures and touch. Surface features a 30-inch tabletop display whose unique abilities allow for several people to work independently or simultaneously. All without using a mouse or a keyboard.”


what is surface computing
What is surface computing?

A form of computing that offers “a natural way of

interacting with information,” rather than the

“traditional user interface.”

Direct Interaction: The ability to "grab" digital

information with hands - interacting with

touch/gesture, not with a mouse or keyboard.

Multi–Touch: The ability to recognize multiple points

of contact at the same time, not just one (Ex. one

finger, like with most touch screens), but dozens.

Multi–User: The Surface’s screen is horizontal,

allowing many people to come together around it

and experience a “collaborative, face–to–face

computing experience”.

Object Recognition: Physical objects can be placed

on the Surface’s screen to “trigger different types of

digital responses” (Ex. cell phones, cameras, & glasses

of wine).


How is the Surface used?

  • Wireless! Transfer pictures from camera to Surface and cell phone. “Drag and drop virtual content to physical objects.”
  • Digital interactive painting
  • At a phone store? Place cell phone on the Surface and get information, compare different phones, select service plan, accessories, and pay at table!
  • At a restaurant? View menu, order drinks and meal at your table! It’s a durable surface you can eat off of (withstands spills, etc.). Need separate checks? Split bill at and pay at table.
  • Play games and use the Internet.
  • Watch television
  • Jukebox! Browse music, make play lists.
  • Billboard for advertising
  • Maps
how does it work
How does it work?
  • The Surface is not a touch-sensitive screen device… The screen itself is not electronic.
  • The Surface uses multiple infrared cameras beneath the screen/table top to sense objects, physical touch, etc.
  • The Surface “recognizes objects based on shape or by using domino-style identification (domino tags) on the bottom of the objects.”
  • This information is processed and displayed using “rear projection”.

(1) Screen: Diffuser -> ”multitouch" screen. Can process multiple inputs and recognize objects by their shapes or coded "domino" tags.

(2) Infrared: The ”machine vision" is aimed at the screen. Once an object touches the tabletop -> the light reflects back and is picked up by infrared cameras.

(3) CPU: Uses similar components as current desktop computers -> Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 256MB graphics card. Wireless communication -> WiFi and Bluetooth antennas (future -> RFID). Operating system -> modified version of Microsoft Vista.

(4) Projector: Uses a DLP light engine ( rear-projection HDTVs).

who s using the surface today
Who’s using the Surface today?
  • Currently only commercially available and being used in the retail, hospitality, automotive, banking and healthcare industries.
  • Current customers are AT&T, T-Mobile, the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Sheraton Hotels, Disney Innovations House in California, Hotel 1000 in Seattle, Harrah’s Entertainment, and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
microsoft surface s future
Microsoft Surface’s Future…
  • Surface will continue to be sold to and used by restaurants, retail, leisure and public entertainment venues.
  • According to Pete Thompson, Microsoft’s general manager for surface computing, the Surface could potentially be available to the “broader consumer market” as soon as 2010. Microsoft goal is for consumers test the Surface in commercial settings, and then want them in their own households. Microsoft wants to expand to the consumer market by making a product people can use in their home environment (using other surfaces like desks or making a version that hangs on the wall).
  • Computer scientists hope to incorporate this kind of technology in peoples’ daily lives… Future goals are to surround people with intelligent surfaces (look up recipes on your kitchen counter or table, control TV with coffee table, etc.)
  • "I firmly believe that in the near future, we will have wallpaper displays in every hallway, in every desk. Every surface will be a point of interaction with a computer, and for that to happen, we really need interfaces like this." - Jeff Han founder of Perceptive Pixel and NYU professor
  • Will it catch on? Microsoft's “whiz-bang technologies” aren’t always the most successful products… For example the smart watch, the Portable Media Center, the Zune music player and the Tablet PC, have not caught on like the company had hoped. Microsoft hopes “to strike a chord with consumers” with the Surface and “expand beyond its traditional Windows and Office software businesses.”
  • $$$$$$$ Surface machines cost between $5,000 and $10,000, but Microsoft hopes that as prices fall, the machine will find it’s way into the consumer’s household. For it to be able to catch on with “mainstream consumers,” the price will definitely need to come down.
works cited
Works Cited: