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Microsoft SURFACE's with a new technology

Surface_logoMicrosoft could well have paperless operatives jumping for joy soon, following the announcement of their new computing technology - SURFACE. Based around a 30 inch screen, presented in the form of a table (or a giant TabletPC as it looks to me :o)), Microsoft's killer concept focuses on a more natural and intuative way of interacting with computers. I think Microsoft can explain the concept of 'surface computing' much better than I can so here's a quote direct from the horse's mouth:

Surface computing is a new way of working with computers that moves beyond the traditional mouse-and-keyboard experience. It is a natural user interface that allows people to interact with digital content the same way they have interacted with everyday items such as photos, paintbrushes and music their entire life: with their hands, with gestures and by putting real-world objects on the surface.

Sounds a bit tasty doesn't it? Well it gets even more so when you go along to the SURFACE website and check out the 'teaser' videos. I've watched them a couple of times (3 video clips in total) and, aside from viewing all of the other geeky goodness, I particularly love the concept of plonking a digital camera onto the table screen and all of the images on the camera are digitally scattered in front of you allowing you to view and fully manipulate each and every one of them....Sweet!!


The real winner for me though has to be this natural 'invisible' interface. Surely a computer that uses nothing more than hands and real world gestures to interact with it has got to encourage even the most ardent technophobe to embrace the technology and adopt a more paperless lifestyle? I think (and hope) so.

However while the concept of naturally interacting with the table-esque 30 inch screen at the home/office/school is an appealing one it doesn't really infuse a lot of excitement for the mobile paperless operative does it? Well thankfuly there's nothing to suggest that Microsoft can't and won't incorporate this surface technology into a more portable format offering the infinitely useful ability of being able to interact in the same intuative naturalistic way.

I can see it now. I spend all day inking lecture notes on my TabletPC and then I come home plonk the TabletPC on my 'surface table' and all of the day's notes 'fall out' onto the table allowing me to review and sort them in the full scale virtual environment - Seriously I can't wait to see where Microsoft go with this new technology. I think there's going to be exciting times ahead :o)::via TUAW