The entire Fourth of July week is a bit of a write off news wise when it comes to the US tech industry, but while the boys in Redmond were enjoying some well-deserved R&R, Acer was on the attack. Company founder Stan Shih went on record with his thoughts about the Microsoft Surface, and lets just say they weren’t the most diplomatic.
Microsoft's Surface tablet sure looks nifty, but will it cost the company the support of its OEM partners? Several sources have said that OEMs are mighty, mighty displeased that Microsoft took a heavily hands-on role in the design approval of other companies' Windows tablets, only to soon thereafter introduce a kick ass-looking Windows tablet of its own. LG bowed out of the tablet game the very night that the Surface was announced, and a new report says the shenanigans may cause HP to yank its Windows RT plans, too.
How does Microsoft, one of the highest-profile technology companies in the world, create a new, similarly high-profile piece of hardware like the Surface Tablet without anybody in the industry getting a whiff of it? Simple: you lock the designers working on the project into secretive underground facilities with security measures similar to what you'd find at a bank or sensitive data centers.
While it may be coming in well under the radar, we’ve got a feeling that as it crops up in more and more locations over the next few years, the latest version of Microsoft Surface could have what it takes to be the next piece of computing technology to change the way we work, shop and live on a daily basis.
Color us a little confused by this one. Sony has been showing off a surface computer of sorts. The system was constructed with Atracsys and utilizes a camera to track the locations of your fingers, meaning you don’t have to physically touch anything. For some reason, it’s being shown off on a table top… that you touch.
Sony/ Atracsys also showed how the camera system can track facial movements and even calculate mood. The point seems to be that you could interact with a computer without actually touching it. This would be invaluable in an operating room, for example, where sterility must be maintained. Sort of like Natal on the Xbox, apparently. Despite what they’re saying the camera tracking is capable of, Sony is making it look like a glorified Microsoft Surface. Check out the story link above to see the demo video.
You've seen the demos of multitouch, and you might even have a PC that supports Windows 7's multitouch, but what can you do with it? If you're in the market for a PC that supports multi-touch, Microsoft is making a multitouch PC even more appealing by announcing its Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7.
Microsoft Touch Pack is a product of the collaboration between the Windows and Surface development teams, and as a result, Microsoft Touch Pack includes three Microsoft Surface applications and three casual games. Here's what you get:
Microsoft Surface Globe enables you to navigate the Virtual Earth 3D version of the world by touch, and lets you get local information as you "fly" by particular places.
Microsoft Surface Collage brings one of the original Microsoft Surface "touch and move the photos" demos to life, adding the ability to convert a collage into a desktop background.
Microsoft Surface Lagoon is a multi-touch enabled screensaver - watch fish gather around your "submerged" finger.
Casual gamers can enjoy the Rube Goldbergesque Microsoft Blackboard, a mashup of death rays and air hockey in Microsoft Rebound, and float origami on the water in Microsoft Garden Pond.
To find out who gets their hands on Microsoft Touch Pack first, join us after the jump.
It looks like Microsoft’s Surface won’t be the only computer in the interactive touch-sensitive table market; Epson has recently announced their very own offering, the xDesk.
Aside from having an extremely cheesy name, the xDesk offers some pretty solid features for a machine of this caliber including a 52-inch, 1024x768 touch screen that can communicate with gadgets such as phones and cameras placed onto its surface, and the ability to recognize gesture recognition, allowing multiple users to drag around photos or draw. It’ll also transfer audio and video wirelessly though Bluetooth 2.1, but if you’d rather go the wired route and use FireWire or one of the five USB 2.0 ports, that works fine too.
Underneath the hood you’ll find a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, a 250GB HDD and an ATI HD 4850 GPU. Though, as for pricing and availability, there’s still no word.
Also, if you’d like to see a video if it in action, be sure to click here.
Microsoft has reached a major landmark after receiving its 10,000th U.S patent. The software bellwether has cemented its place among top patent recipients in the last five years; it is the fourth highest patent getter in the U.S. The 10,000th patent concerns a technology that allows a Microsoft Surface-like computer to discern real objects and link them with data or media. Microsoft can be expected to move up the ladder in the near future as it has a policy of incentivizing employees for patent filings.
Configuring your next BMW isn't as easy as touching a table yet, but in the near future, it probably will be. BMW has released a video of its prototype BMW Product Navigator (aka BMW Konfigurator), which is powered by Microsoft Surface and designed by Vectorform, which created the interactive 2008 election map used by MSNBC.
As with the 2008 MSNBC project, Vectorform's BMW Product Navigator uses Microsoft Surface to manipulate video that is then shown on an HDTV. With the BMW Product Navigator, you place chips representing product options on the Microsoft Surface tabletop computer, and the changes you make affect the BMW shown on the video screen. And, just so you can make sure you're buying the Bimmer you want, Product Navigator can email you your custom configuration, print it, or copy it to a USB flash memory drive.
What do you think about the idea of gesturing your way to the car of your dreams? Is this the best way to use Microsoft Surface? For your chance to answer these and other burning questions, join us after the jump.
As the UK's PC Pro website puts it, SecondLight is like "Surface on steroids." A product of Microsoft's Cambridge, England research labs, SecondLight projects an image through the table, enabling a translucent surface placed on top of the Surface tabletop to display additional information, such as place names, an interior view of an object, and much more.
To learn more about how SecondLight works, join us after the jump.