This is a short introduction to Microsoft's Surface technology.
What is Surface?
The best way to quickly get an impression of the actual thing would be to watch this short video. I guess, formally, Surface is a combination of hardware that has some new input qualities and software APIs that come along with it to support them. The parody (also a recommended watch) describes it as 'a computer that is a big ass table’. For those of you who haven’t watched the movie, Surface is a table that has a computer screen on its surface. You can interact with it by touching the screen, which is far from new, but you can do it in multiple spots simultaneously (multiple users, multiple fingers of one user...), and you can place objects on it and have the Surface recognize them and interact with them.
Microsoft identifies four key concepts in Surface:
- Direct interaction – no mouse or keyboard
- Multi-touch contact – more than one interaction spot
- Multi-user experience – the table has no specific orientation; you may have several people stand around it and interact
- Object recognition
It seems Microsoft is also aiming towards wireless technologies, enabling data transfer between devices placed on the Surface.