Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Microsoft Surface at MIX08

As you may or may not know, I'm out at MIX08 (if you're here and are looking for something to do, drop me a line: steven@mbccs.com) and something that I was surprised to stumble upon was a Microsoft Surface. I spent about 20 minutes playing with it and drilling the presenter and I have one word to describe it: COOL!.

What's actually amazing is the photo downloading via bluetooth/wireless that Microsoft has shown off in some promotional videos is real, and it does work.  Snap a picture, put the device (complete with a surface-like barcode on it) on the table and wala - picture on Surface, ready to be manipulated.

I did inquire about public availability and I was told that they won't be commercially available for about 3-4 years.  Right now, they are limited to some "select" partners. Also, the cost of the units right now is anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000

Something that might not be well known is that Surface in its present form recognizes devices and objects via a bar-code like sticker on the device that is made up of large white dots on a black background - this allows Surface's IR sensors to pick up the signature and identify the device.  They say that RFID identification will likely be available by the time the device is mainstream.

Anyway's, they are indeed very cool and if you get a chance to interact with one I highly recommend you give it a try!

No comments: