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Sunday, October 28, 2007

The All New Microsoft Coffeetable!!

Microsoft has recently publicized its new research project, Microsoft Surface otherwise known as Coffee table(?!?)....

what's so special about it? check out the video below....

MS Surface is a new Multi-Touch Surface Computer, means it has a touch sensitive screen that looks like a coffee-table and the device itself is laden with Infrared and other wireless options. Unlike other touch screen devices(spare the iPhone..), this one supports multiple touch, so not only can you use more than a finger, but also many users can work on it simultaneously(cool huh?)..

The best part of this device that i like is the wireless integration...
Traditional PCs require a USB cable or have to undergo a painful wireless transfer process to transfer contents from their mobile devices like cell phones, PDAs etc...

But in Surface all you have to do is put it on the table(screen) and once it registers the device, you literally swing around your photos and files to and fro.. Viola!! no mouse, no keyboard, nothing!!!

Here's a look at the inside of MS Surface...

(1) Screen: A diffuser turns the Surface's acrylic tabletop into a large horizontal "multitouch" screen, capable of processing multiple inputs from multiple users. The Surface can also recognize objects by their shapes or by reading coded "domino" tags.

(2) Infrared: Surface's "machine vision" operates in the near-infrared spectrum, using an 850-nanometer-wavelength LED light source aimed at the screen. When objects touch the tabletop, the light reflects back and is picked up by multiple infrared cameras with a net resolution of 1280 x 960.

(3) CPU: Surface uses many of the same components found in everyday desktop computers — a Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM and a 256MB graphics card. Wireless communication with devices on the surface is handled using WiFi and Bluetooth antennas (future versions may incorporate RFID or Near Field Communications). The underlying operating system is a modified version of Microsoft Vista.

(4) Projector: Microsoft's Surface uses the same DLP light engine found in many rear-projection HDTVs. The footprint of the visible light screen, at 1024 x 768 pixels, is actually smaller than the invisible overlapping infrared projection to allow for better recognition at the edges of the screen.

But there is still one thing to be worried about.. and it's the fact that this is a Microsoft Product.. Yup. You guessed it, it would surely have its own set of trademark Microsoft flaws. And all that you see in the video is not as is.. For example the Wi-Fi integration i was talking about earlier?? it requires you to tag ur mobile device with some bar-code thingy.. and certain other technicalities.. So we can only hope that, for once Microsoft takes care of all such things and gives us a product that we can enjoy with, instead of cursing at them..

this device is priced at around $5000 to $10,000 and as of now would be available only to commercial establishments such as Hotels and other public places... and would be available for households in around 3 to 4 years...


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