Surface control

Microsoft has announced some of the technology from its Surface Computing Group. It is a screen with multiple sensors so that it can be touched by fingers from both hands or even by more than one person at the same time. I love this sort of technology. I’m sure it will spread quickly into all sorts of environments. Apple were talked about possibly having similar features on the iPhone. Strange that both Pete Thompson and Mark Bolger are from T-Mobile.

One of the driving forces for this type of interface has been Jeff Han, a professor at the New York University. He formed a compant called Perceptive Pixel to promote his version. The Microsoft interface will be somewhat cheaper. Perceptive pixel quote, “in the low six figures”. Hopefully the Microsoft version will be in the low five figures and falling. It’s based around Vista, with multiple infrared sensors, camera sensors and a projection system.

Have a look at Jeff’s video to get some inspiration from the interface, then just think of how many applications this could be used with. It certainly stirs up my imagination. An early vido from 2006 shows Andy Wilson doing a quick demo of the Microsot research, but the best clip I’ve seen on the on10 site from Larry Larsen.

Main page at Microsoft is the Surface Computing site. Strange that it uses Flash and not Silverlight!

If anyone has a link to the api’s involved, I’d love to see some the UI guidlines.

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