Microsoft has put a lot of faith in the magic touch of its users with the debut of what it calls an entirely new product category. Formerly under the codename Milan, Microsoft has yesterday taken the wraps off its surface computing project after over five years of cooking in the Redmond laboratories. The Surface tabletop PC makes Microsoft the first company to debut a surface computer, virtually reshaping user interaction. Human touch,
natural gestures and physical objects will be at the heart of every action interacting with Microsoft Surface.
"Picture a surface that can 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 vibrant, dynamic surface that provides effortless interaction with all forms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects. Beginning at the end of this year, consumers will be able to interact with Surface in hotels, retail establishments, restaurants and public entertainment venues," Microsoft revealed via the press release announcing Surface.
Microsoft Surface in fact signals the beginning of the end for the mouse and the keyboard. The next level and generation of interaction experiences involves nothing more than an intuitive user interface and touch. The future is synonymous with a multi-touch, gestural and object-recognition interface and Surface is just a preview.
"With Surface, we are creating more intuitive ways for people to interact with technology," Ballmer said. "We see this as a multibillion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror. Surface is the first step in realizing that vision."
Essentially, Microsoft Surface delivers a 30-inch table-like display. The product, the result of joint efforts from the Microsoft Hardware and Microsoft Research teams, allows for direct, hands-on user interaction, comes with multi-touch capabilities, supports multiple users, and can even recognize objects, from a phone to a glass of wine. Just head over at Microsoft Surface Computing Web site
and have a look at the videos to get an idea of what the future (Surface) looks like.