If you were on the East coast this morning or just up real early on the West coast you might have seen Microsoft Surface in action on TV. But this isn’t just another news story about Surface, this morning a unit was deployed on the MSNBC set for regular use by Chuck Todd, NBC News political director, to assist him in analyzing the upcoming 2008 election and political news beyond.
Today we saw two applications in action, the Electoral Map and Battleground States, but over the coming days/weeks Todd will likely use other unique applications and features to further highlight the candidates, the issues, polls and relevant political news.
I thought I’d drill down into each app briefly and give you a sense for what Todd has available at his fingertips…
Electoral Map – Todd will use Surface to quickly and easily view historic voting results, polling insights and demographic data for each state. And by placing an object on the display, Todd will be able to instantly change the map to showcase results from previous predictions or to identify up-to-the minute changes.
Battleground States –This application will allow Todd to visually demonstrate the impact of various potential voting outcomes in key states and the effect they have on the number of electoral votes needed to win the election. This will be a great tool for Todd to lay out various electoral scenarios.
It’s been a fun and wild ride to bring this experience to life. MSNBC was looking for a new and engaging way to tell the political drama that is unfolding before us and they came to Microsoft Surface for help. In turn, we worked with one of our partners, Vectorform, to create a suite of applications based on MSNBC’s unique needs. And while the content and apps are different, the approach to using Surface is as well. Surface goes beyond just multi-touch and resizing content, Todd can bring “tagged” objects to Surface (like in the Electoral Map) that deliver unique digital interactions (new predictions). Surface also allows for multiple people to interact with the content simultaneously.
We’re changing the way you political junkies (that’s all of us, come on you know you’re hooked after those conventions) are gonna get their news fix. Tell us, how do you think Surface is going to change political coverage as its presented and shared in the news?
Here we are on set just after our first segment aired...
And here's a video of one of today's segments...
Here's another segment shown on Monday. Meanwhile, stay tuned to MSNBC for new apps and more Surface goodness.
Cheers from DC,