Reminder: Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch Available

In case you missed it last week, the Microsoft Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch Beta is available as a free download. Now you can use Surface controls for applications on Windows Touch PCs with Windows 7. Head on over to our Technical Resources section on where you’ll find the Toolkit as well as the Microsoft Surface SDK, Workstation Edition. Luis breaks the news about the Toolkit in the video below..

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- Eric (follow Surface on Twitter and Facebook)

Comments (5)

  1. Daniel Smith says:

    MS Surface is awesome but…is the cost of the hardware ever going to come down?

    Last time I checked the MS dev kits were $15,000 or something crazy.

    Home come the guys at Maximum PC can build their own touch surface table for like $300???

  2. darin.brown says:

    has anyone been able to deploy a simple Surface VS2010 project via ClickOnce on a machine that doesn’t have VS2010 installed on it? I’m running into some GAC errors around the Surface assemblies.

  3. Eric Ha says:


    You can definately build a multi-touch input system for next to nothing with a webcam, a box and a PC. That’s the level that the technology was at from the 80’s when multi-touch was first evolving.

    Today, there are $300 mulit-touch monitors for the home that you can add to your PC, or you can pick up an all-in-one multi-touch system. That with Windows 7 is where you’re first going to be able to experience some of this in the home. And if you’re a developer the toolkit will assist in building great apps.

    Surface is a bit more complex than the DIY model. It was probably closer to that when we started back in 2001. But what we found was that in order to build a product with the input fidelity and durability needed for a commercial release, it takes a lot more.

    Our input system has 5 cameras that record what is happening on the table-top. We have a light source that beams out infra-red and a projector to beam the computer images. There are custom chips that take the infra-red imagery from the five cameras and process those into a high resolution stream that can be processed by the PC. There is also software processing that goes on to provide a deep level of information to the developer, like whether the contact is a finger or or a tag, and if it is, the direction it is pointing. These are things that are important for multi-user horizontal systems.

    What you’ll find with the DIY system is that it’s perfect for playing around with concepts. I highly encourage building a DIY unit, if you’re into that. A lot of our team members have. It’s a lot of fun.

    We’re working on making the technology thinner and less expensive, and yet still provides the features that a vision system can. Rest assured. 🙂


  4. Darin,

    I imagine that you are referring to toolkit assemblies. Do you have all the prerequisites installed including WPF4?

    what are the exact problem you are running into?


    Luis Cabrera

    Platform Program Manager

  5. One more thing…. questions are probably better handled if you ask them in the forums at

    Best of luck!


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