May 30, 2007

Microsoft Surface presents a new Interface

Microsoft has been created some videos of a new technology that will allow users to interact with digital content through a table or tablet with a 30" monitor that allows multi-touch functionality. This means the user can touch the screen in different locations to interact with the content. It looks really cool and engaging, but the question is will the interface be an improvement over current keyboard and mouse even for causal interaction with content?

Another interesting idea would be to build a touch keyboard into the interface. I didn't see it in the video demos, but I don't see why they couldn't do that. This would allow for traditional typing to be incorporated into the interface.

Use cases for Education or Learning?

My initial thought was that students who rely on communication devices would really benefit from this setup. My wife and I have worked with several devices that allow for customization of small buttons for the students to touch when they want to say a word or communicate a thought. This tablet would allow for customized images and buttons to be easily touched to play an audio file or display full text descriptions.

It would also be an incredible learning station for any classroom that could be easily transformed for each class. What if the student could place their cell phone on the tablet and it would transfer all the content to their phone or iPod Zune.

For a small business it would be great to set down with a potential customer and demo your solution to them. This might eliminate the somewhat awkward gathering around a computer screen and watching the "driver" of the computer interact with the information.

Lots of ideas.

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