It’s All Surface

At the SOCITM Conference yesterday I was given a demo of the Microsoft Surface – their interactive ‘coffee table’ product.

Admittedly it looks very impressive, and allows you to do interesting things, but it is a bit gimmicky in my opinion. It can show 3d maps of cities that can be manipulated by moving your hands over the surface, and dropping a mobile phone onto it will also allow you to move any mp3s, videos or pictures you have onto the phone just by dragging them from elsewhere on the Surface over to it, and it also allows you to construct pizzas by moving ingredients over onto the base. Apparently this last feature has a commercial use in some restaurants over in the States, but all in all I don’t really see the point to it – I’m sure I’d get bored with it once I got over the initial excitement.

My gripes are that a) frankly it was quite unstable (sometimes it simply wouldn’t do what the demonstrator wanted it to) and b) it has no use beyond a few things – you couldn’t watch movies on it for instance, and it would be pointless for games – unless that game was Monopoly or Cluedo or something similar. Oh and c) it’s incredibly expensive – thousands of dollars… it’s great as a proof of concept but I think I’ll keep my PC, vertical screen, keyboard and mouse for the moment…

(btw apologies for the photo quality – I was trying to take pictures of moving images using my camera phone under harsh lighting… sorry!)