Microsoft Announces Surface Computer

Check out this video showing off the new Microsoft Surface Computer. It’s pretty wild. A Surface computer is able to 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 dynamic surface that provides interaction with all forms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects.

Source: TechCrunch


79 thoughts on “Microsoft Announces Surface Computer”

  1. James Pegram says:

    That’s pretty cool. Wonder who they stole it from? Of course the video would have been much more interesting if it had blue screened. :mrgreen:

    1. Alex says:

      This is fantastic, although it will be considered a piece of junk in 10 years 🙂

      1. 😈 ➡ 😯 Nice way to play poker, by the way! I should patent this idea! 😈

        1. Alex says:

          XD Yeah Poker with Surface will be nice

        2. Wahlau.NET says:

          but others would be able to see your cards…

          play monopoly then..hehe 🙂

      2. Steven says:

        Everything is considered junk in 10 years time with the way technology advances lol

        1. That’s one of the things that makes modern life so exciting.

    2. Alex says:

      This is cool, it sure beats the wooden coffee table in my living room 🙂

    3. Pallab says:

      Microsoft should really be given credit for this. doesnt matter if you hate them or not, this is revolutionary.
      There have been concepts and prototypes (like Touchtable) but this is first time something like this is going to be manufactured on a large scale.
      I covered it on my blog also – but the coverage is a bit more technichal.

      1. Moulinneuf says:

        No , not at all , you know who deserve the absolute 100% credit but is sidetracked by the guy who lead the project and has takem it outside the environment it was built in :

        NYU , they paid for the hardware and ressource to develop it to a working system and student of the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences department did most of the research and job , but since Jeff Han ( the project lead developer ) founded a company and took out the entire project and developer with it its highly unlikely that NYU will be remebered in the futur for there part in the creation of this technology.

        Microsoft is known for doing this every new technology as Microsoft *partnering* in it and sabotaging it for there own profit once it become big. They never did contribute the financial , nor paid most of the developer who worked on it and they are hidding the fact that its not even there technology to begin with and that they are leasing it just like Apple does for the iPhones and probably leopard.

        Look up http://www.perceptivepixel.com/ , they are the company who are behind pusing and developing the technology , Microsoft is just rebranding there own version and as usual will probably make it there own by breaking compatibility down the road.

        :mrgreen:

        1. Jeff Kee says:

          All that crap put aside,

          Time to invest in Microsoft stocks again.

          I really don’t care how bitter some computer nerds are about how these guys are doing it for profit etc.

          I value the profit-making machines just as much as the developers. Without Microsoft selling it, this idea may not have been promoted as well. I just look at the practical aspects instead of aching over how they’re trying to do this and that and cry about it and say I hate Microsoft. Of course I have my frustrations as a web developer, having to always take into consideration the cross-browser compatibility, but whatever.

          If I had money, I’d buy Microsoft stocks now.

          1. Moulinneuf says:

            I appreciate your (Bad) recommandation of buying Microsoft stock at this time , but I will pass on it.

            Contrary to you I have the money , I just don’t see why it would be a good time to invest in Microsoft now , the price of the share is too high ( for Microsoft ) at this time , the problem Microsoft is facing currently indicate that the share will drop as soon as people realize its just a smoke mirror to divert attention from Apple own events and press release ( not to forget that 10,000$ computer/table are not really in demand ). Many of there usual product leader are not selling at all ( Vista , Office 2007 ) , they are facing stiff competition on all front , the Xbox division is loosing money , due to delay of game , the zune and music division is loosing money , they are facing stiff penalty for not complying in there monopoly conviction in Europe. Etc …

            I dont hate Microsoft , or there products , I use them on a daily basis , I dont own there stock directly or support people buying them at this moment in time , there are other more profitable investments and even sell some of there products indirectly , I hate some of there tactics and stealing , this is one of them.

            :mrgreen:

    4. If I were to take a guess it’s time for them to catch up to Apple.

      Apple has it in the iPhone so Microsoft has made the Table for us to put it on. . .

      FRIDAY IT SUPPOSED TO BE OUT… GO APPLE. 😆

      1. Pallab says:

        Apple iPhone only has Multi-touch funtionality not Direct interaction, Object Recognition or Multi User capability.

        Object Recognition is quite revolutionary.

        1. Good point. Let’s keep an eye on it. Literally? 😀

      2. Katana says:

        With the table going at a price range of $5000 to $10000, it will be a while before most public places like restaurants and hotels will embrace it. But the demo sure looks good.

    5. blogcrowds says:

      There is something REALLY similar to the surface computer in SciFi movie “The Island”, wonder how much RAM this thing requires.

  2. Matt Jones says:

    I just saw this on Digg, it’s REALLY cool! I’m half surprised it wasn’t Google who ‘came up with it’, they seem to be getting all the press these days!

    1. Jeff Kee says:

      Google will probably come up with a web-based platform to integrate this computer better.

      It seems Microsoft still has a hand over localized applications, while google is the leader at integrating data online and creating the WWW as it is today.

  3. Very Minority Report, wouldn’t you say so? That’s pretty amazing stuff from Microsoft alright.

    1. Shaun Carter says:

      It’s even closer in design to the one in The Island.

      1. I’d have to rent it out again — my memory forsakes me (or the movie just wasn’t that memorable).

  4. HMTKSteve says:

    Until I see “real” people using it I will not be impressed.

    I’m also waiting for the killer app that needs this thing.

    1. Pallab says:

      This blogger says he has tried it.

    2. Katana says:

      There’s a CNET review on the Microsoft Surface at youtube. Just search for suface cnet.

  5. HMTKSteve says:

    The Techcrunch link is broken.

  6. That is sooo cool, I want one!

    Slowly but surely tech companies are eliminating components, such as cables, from devices like cameras.

    Will be interesting so see how far they take the product.

    1. Pallab says:

      Remember that it is expected to cost around $10,000.

  7. Alex says:

    Is good the Microsoft Surface. The problem will be the price.

  8. Max says:

    Dang, Microsoft can make some pretty neat stuff. I wonder what an Apple version of this baby would look like?

  9. justinf says:

    i have no doubt that Microsoft pointy headed manager types will turn this cool tech into a worthless pile of junk.

  10. blogdinero says:

    And it recognizes the coffee cup ooops!!! :mrgreen:

  11. I have always been in love with geeky guys… bill gates rule them all.

    1. Really? 😉 Well, I’m a geek, would you like to have a cup of coffee with me? 😛

  12. Its cool, but what will anyone use it for? I guess you could search the internet while drinking at a bar or powering down an omelet at a restaurant. Nah.

    1. Pallab says:

      It is definitely going to be usefull in corporate scenarios. In banks, showrooms or restaurants. See the videos provided on microsoft’s website (or the one in my blog).

  13. It’s perfect for offices (advertising, marketing, architecture, fashion), show rooms, high-end restaurants, hotels — the possibilities are endless.

  14. Rhys says:

    Funny quote in the paper about this

    “This computer allows you to control the contents of your screen with your hands”.

    Remind me: what does a keyboard and mouse do?

  15. Marc says:

    The problem will be finding a market for it. It’s the same issue that the tablet PC and PDAs are struggling with. Contrast that with the heroin like spread of blackberrys.

    You need to serve a need rather than just create new hardware because you can now. If it doesn’t meet a need, you’re just creating another thing that people aren’t going to know what to do with and as a result, they won’t buy it.

    I do have to say though that while the restaurant applications are significant, durability will make this DOA unless they’ve come up with something to deal with that.

  16. Nathen says:

    I think Surface is very cool technology and the uses of it are only limited by your imagination. I think it truly shines when integrated with other devices and services such as phones, cameras, mp3 players, credit cards, etc.

    I can picture hotels using these devices to ease check-in and check-out procedures and possibly include one in every room to help with ordering room service and to function as a quasi-concierge. Restaurants should and will make use of this technology to enhance the dining experience. Waiters and waitresses, on the other hand, may not like the technology because it leaves them to only bussing tables and not taking orders from customers…unless of course the Surface table suffers from the ill-fated Blue Screen of Death.

    1. Josh says:

      I can see the new trendy cafe now. All surface PCs for tables. Everyone at the table can do their own surfing or all take part in a game. It automatically senses when your drink is getting low and someone emerges from the kitchen for a refill. There really is a lot that could be done with this technology. But Microsoft will probably screw it up somehow.

    2. Marc says:

      “the uses of it are only limited by your imagination”

      That’s certainly true, the uses are only limited by your imagination. But that’s true for most devices. Still though many fail and few succeed, largely because they take a “sky’s the limit” approach to development and marketing. People don’t want to buy a “sky’s the limit” device. They want something that solves a problem they have. That’s why people spend money on things.

      As for the concierge, without an input device aside from your finger, it’s just too cumbersome. It will be able to answer a handful of questions, but not the stuff people bother to go see a concierge for.

      Don’t even suggest voice recognition either 🙄 We’ve had it for years and years with extremely minimal adoption. Why? It’s annoying, clumsy and not very private.

      As for restaurants, as mentioned before, I suspect durability issues would arise very quickly in such a high use/heavy load environment.

  17. Steven says:

    Nice. I found another video with Bill Gates introducing the Surface however I couldn’t get it to stream. I think this one is a bit more complete in description as well.

  18. Looks like the computers from the movie Minority Report.

  19. theothereye says:

    Very nice, it reminds me of Tom Cruise moving his hands in the air in the movie “Minority report”. 🙂

  20. this is definitely ground breaking and it will be interesting to see how it evolves and becomes more compact with time and finds its way in consumer households

  21. Shawn Knight says:

    Doh, I was following this “big announcement” yesterday but forgot to check back into it today.

    Seems pretty neat from the video; much more so than the “kiddie table” that some tech sites were making it out to be.

    Although, im not real sure that there is a strong market for something like this yet. Plus, the price tag will certainly keep it out of the hands of “regular” consumers for a while…

  22. Anthony C says:

    Wow, that would be fun to have 🙂

    *Secert plots to steal it* lol

    1. I highly doubt it, but John’s customized rig would. 😀

  23. Looks like a large iPhone…

    1. Katana says:

      That’s what I thought so too when I saw the teaser

  24. Mat says:

    Another application is airline check-ins

    and passport control maybe

    but I can’t see this working

    1. I can’t see it working, either. However, the airline/restaurant/hotel applications have impressive potential.

      – Mike

  25. For home use it looks good exactly for what the video shows: organizing photos.

  26. Question #1 is: What about fingerprints?

    What a potential nightmare!

    – Mike

    1. Haha good point, Mike, I wouldn’t want to be dealing with that either.

  27. Very interesting, the future of computing is great!

  28. Dog Breed says:

    The software for this kind of stuff has a long way to go.

  29. Hmmm. Multi-Toutch? Where have I heard that before??? hmmmm

  30. Maybe now your dining room table can have wallpaper.

    1. Microsoft would need to come up with a bigger Surface computer to fit my family on the dinner table. 😆

  31. I read somewhere that T-Mobile is considering to use them as promotional tools for their phones.

  32. Carmen says:

    I was reading about this earlier today. Exciting stuff.

  33. i actually did a similar post in early May related to this. it has a different video http://desinotes.com/microsofts-digidesk-of-the-future/

  34. I like it. I love it. Only problem is, where do I put all the stuff I have on my coffee tables? I am all for multiple interactive residential surfaces. When I heard about the fridge that shows on its door what is inside I thought, whoo-hoo! But now it has to stay spotless in there. Not a bad idea at all.

  35. Wow that was amazing when they threw the picture into the phone =O.

  36. Leon says:

    I like the idea of playing games around this device. It could provide a sense of nostalgia for those old tabletop video games in restaurants like Galaga. Boardgames for sure would be cool: Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, The Game of Life.

    On the other hand, since I work in IT Construction I could see using this surface to collaborate over CAD drawings. Or the frontend for a building automation system. Or as a console in a large Data Center. It will be interesting to see what other ideas are spawned from this technology.

    I also covered Microsoft Surface at my blog and added other ideas for its use. Leon’s Blog

  37. Leon says:

    I like the idea of playing games around this device. It could provide a sense of nostalgia for those old tabletop video games in restaurants like Galaga. Boardgames for sure would be cool: Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, The Game of Life.

    On the other hand, since I work in IT Construction I could see using this surface to collaborate over CAD drawings. Or the frontend for a building automation system. Or as a console in a large Data Center. It will be interesting to see what other ideas are spawned from this technology.

    I also covered Microsoft Surface at my blog and added other ideas for its use. Leon’s Blog

  38. This is sweet technology, but I don’t like to see Microsoft getting so much press for it. There have been smaller companies with working prototypes of this for a long time.

  39. Michael says:

    this new surface computer is soo freakin awesome, I can’t wait until I can buy one for $1,000 and put it in my living room.

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