Microsoft's New Touch Screen Coffee Table

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It's not often that you will hear me praise Microsoft but this looks pretty good. Its a coffee table with what looks like a screen sunk into its surface. This surface screen has a number of new technological breakthroughs. Namely:

  • Direct interaction
    With this technology there is no need for a mouse, you just use your hands. The touch sensitive surface allows you to move objects around and re-size them.
  • Multi-touch
    The old touch screen technology only allowed you to use one finger at a time. With MS surface you can touch the screen at the same time in multiple places and it will re-act accordingly.
  • Multi-user
    Because of the Multi-touch feature, several people can use this at the same time.
  • Object recognition
    Maybe most interestingly Users can place physical objects on the surface to trigger different types of digital responses, including the transfer of digital content.

It seems to be based on the technology that Jeff Han developed. It reminds me of the surface screens used in the film Minority Report. The future is now!

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Check out the new: MS Surface

The Future

So where will this go then? How will it be applied in our lives? Well if there is much of a future left for us, I think that we could realistically see this technology taking over the way we interact with computers. Keyboards may become a thing of the past with a "digital" version of one appearing on our literal desktop surfaces. I don't think the use of the mouse will become extinct yet though as to navigate through this technology your arms are going to start hurting after a while.

In terms of the object recognition I think that has obvious benefits. Using a real paint brush (minus the paint) on one of these could mean it responds in the same way as a real canvas.

This will be big in the entertainment sector and will fit in with all the trendy bars etc. Shops and retian are sure to consider it as an eye grabber so it seems to me it has a bright future.

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How do you think it will change our lives? What are the advantages of such a break through? Do you think this is the future or just a trend Microsoft has just happened to launch in an attempt to promote their image?

All I can say is that it looks like a very interesting piece of kit that may change every way we re-act with a computer. I can't wait for Apples version ;-)

MS Surface4


"I can’t wait for Apples version" hehe!

I HIGHLY doubt that those are actual functioning software programs instead of just FMV sequences. I don't doubt that the technology exists, but I think it's been manipulated a bit for this vid.

The video is very much staged, I agree. We'll have to wait and see what happens when its actually in the shops. I think MS are trying to look "cool" as apple ambitions seem to threaten MS's top end market share...

I love how the design world never has much to say about microsoft.

Actually if you do a search on Youtube there are plenty of live demos given to journalists that would be nigh on impossible to fake. M$ have been working on this since 2001 too so they've had a fair bit of time to get them working. They'll also be in stores/hotels in the US (T-Mobile, Harrahs, Sheraton) by the end of the year.

I kinda think you should give credit where credit's due, this product looks fantastic and the possibilities that it could offer a designer are huge. It shouldn't be slammed just because it's Microsoft.

I have to hand it to them. I do genuinely like the look of this. Microsoft has earned it's reputation, design-wise, and 'Microsoft Works' has always been my favourite oxymoron, but this is looking great! Such a simple idea, that, so far, seems to have been done really well.

I truly hope that this turns out to be as amazing as it looks. I could definately see this in bars and resteraunts all over the place. If they manage to pull off the interface properly, this could be a winner.