Microsoft Surface : the new Generation of multi touch Computer

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Microsoft Surface is more than a computer. It’s a leap ahead in digital interaction. By enabling you to use your hands instead of a keyboard and mouse, it revolutionizes the way you interact with digital content, while keeping the ability to connect with other devices such as networks, printers, mobile devices, card readers, and more. Our Microsoft Surface Partners have created hundreds of applications for the platform.

Microsoft Surface is currently based on the Windows Vista platform, which makes it especially easy for companies to manage, deploy and support Microsoft Surface units. The current version for the software platform is Microsoft Surface 1.0 Service Pack 1, which enhances Surface with an enhanced user interface, improved manageability to help reduce the cost of ownership, broader international support, and faster, easier ways to design innovative applications. Read more about Service Pack 1 on the Microsoft Surface Blog.

The sophisticated camera system of Surface sees what is touching it and recognizes fingers, hands, paintbrushes, tagged objects and a myriad of other real-world items. It allows you to grab digital information and interact with the content through touch and gesture. And unlike other touch-screens, Surface recognizes many points of contact simultaneously, 52 to be exact. This allows multiple people to use Surface at the same time, creating a more engaging and collaborative computing experience than what is available via traditional personal computers, mobile devices, or public kiosks.

Tagged object recognition is a particularly innovative feature of Microsoft Surface. The tag is what lets Surface uniquely identify objects, helping the system tell the difference between two identical looking bottles of juice, for example. Applications can also use a tag to start a command or action, so simply placing a tagged object on the screen can open up a whole new experience. A tagged object might also identify a cardholder, so they can charge purchases or participate in a loyalty program. A tag can even tell Surface to display unique information about a tagged object, such as showing more information about a bottle of wine, the wine grower, the type of grape and vintage.

a Microsoft Surface unit is a PC that is running the Windows Vista Business operating system, so in some ways, a Surface unit is like a desktop computer or a server. The units include all of the standard manageability features that are available in Windows Vista to enable easy deployment and administration, including Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Remote Desktop Connection, Windows Scripting Host, Event Viewer, Performance Monitor, Event Forwarding, Task Scheduler, and so on. You can also use enterprise management tools like the Microsoft System Center family of products to deploy software, maintain patches, manage configuration, and monitor health.

You can also deploy Microsoft Surface units to remote locations away from the immediate reach of an IT administrator and then use remote management tools and scripting to accomplish administration tasks, such as taking a unit offline, installing applications, monitoring the unit, managing updates, and recovering the system.
Microsoft Surface represents a fundamental change in the way we interact with digital content. Leave the mouse and keyboard behind. Surface lets you grab digital content with your hands and move information with simple gestures and touches. Surface also sees and interacts with objects placed on the screen, allowing you to move information between devices like mobile phones or cameras. The result is a fun, social and exciting computing experience like you’ve never had before.

Microsoft Surface has four key capabilities that make it such a unique experience:

* Direct interaction. Users can grab digital information with their hands and interact with content on-screen by touch and gesture – without using a mouse or keyboard.
* Multi-user experience. The large, horizontal, 30 inch display makes it easy for several people to gather and interact together with Microsoft Surface - providing a collaborative, face-to-face computing experience.
* Multi-touch. Microsoft Surface responds to many points of contact simultaneously - not just from one finger, as with a typical touch screen, but from dozens of contact points at once.
* Object recognition. Users can place physical objects on the screen to trigger different types of digital responses – providing for a multitude of applications and the transfer of digital content to mobile devices.

Microsoft Surface uses cameras and image recognition in the infrared spectrum to recognize different types of objects such as fingers, tagged items and shapes. This input is then processed by the computer and the resulting interaction is displayed using rear projection. The user can manipulate content and interact with the computer using natural touch and hand gestures, instead of a typical mouse and keyboard.