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article imageOp-Ed: Microsoft to unveil new Surface 2.0 touchscreen mid-January

By Jacki Viles     Dec 27, 2011 in Technology
Surface computing has been around in one form or another for the past 20 years. However, the ability to free yourself from the 'one cursor', 'one mouse', 'one user' personal computing concept is pretty sweet.
This iteration is not merely a tabletop touch screen device. The surface interface recognizes cellphones and many other real life objects and interacts with them. Merely placing a digital camera on the tabletop downloads images on the fly. It uses multi-touch technology to manipulate photographs, sort documents and much more. It brings the concept of multi-tasking to a whole new level.
Microsoft Surface 1.0 was launched in 2007 and had reasonable success. It used 5 cameras to track finger/object orientation and had a 360 degree user interface within a 30 inch tabletop screen. A highly stylized Hollywood concept was used in the movie ‘Minority Report’, starring Tom Cruise. The sleek ‘heads up display’ where applications and images hung, seemingly in mid air while simple hand gestures enlarged images and launched applications was as big a hit as the movie itself.
Now partnering with Samsung, the SUR40 and Microsoft Surface 2.0 package will be shown at the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York next month.
Surface 2.0 is a true marriage of hardware and software in which the surface responds to ‘direct interaction’. In the earlier version no pointing device but your 10 little fingers was needed. Surface 2.0 now supports 52 fingers. This version will also introduce PixelSense technology, which Microsoft created to replace the camera aspect with IR sensors in the LED display. This development will allow for enhanced object tracking which will allow the surface to ‘see’ the action on the screen without the need for cameras.
The Surface 2.0 demo can be seen here.
Samsung is delivering the 40 inch LED 1080p hardware which is a mere 4 inches thick and now wall mountable. Specifications for the SUR40 can be found here.
As a pure commercial product the target audience is hospitality, retail, healthcare and education. The price tag for the package will start at about $8k. From there, add in custom content development and the sky’s the limit.
It may be a little pricey for me but when I show up next month at the NRF Big Show 2012, I will definitely get my ‘hands on’ it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Microsoft surface, Samsung SUR 40, Touchscreen
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