How do you use the following SDK tools…

The Surface SDK Team is looking for your feedback with regards to the tools available on our SDK. 
We would like to know if you use the following tools, how often you use them, and what you use them for:

1. InputVisualizer tool.
2. SurfaceStress tool.
3. Identity Tag Printing tool.

Also, are there any features you would like to see in these tools or additional tools that would be valuable to you?

Your feedback is valuable to us.
Luis E. Cabrera
Microsoft Surface
Comments (5)

  1. Eric McCann says:

    The lab I work in does alot of HRI user testing using the surface.

    The tool we use most,although not one of those 3, is the Surface Simulator (on the actual surface, not just for developing)… We use it to record what the users' fingers do on the surface, and sometimes the runs are long enough that the surface simulator decides it should stop recording on its own.

    To get around that, I've written a library that body-snatches all of the touch events from a window and all of its children, and then writes them to a .SCS file, emulating the format the simulator uses.

    Its output can be read by the surface simulator in the following circumstances:

    -I record using my mouse and touchpad via the simulator

    -I record the simulator playing a contact script I recorded using the simulator

    -I record the simulator playing  a contact script I recorded on the actual surface

    However, it does not generate a readable SCS file when I use my library to record on the surface itself.

    Is there a .SCS protocol somewhere that I can get access to in order to debug my SCS generator library? or source code for the simulator?

    That second one was a reach, but I'd appreciate any guidance you can give me towards handling any inherent differences in the down/up/change events of the simulator vs. the surface itself that might cause this phenomenon.

  2. Serge says:

    I use mainly the Surface Simulator

    Indetity tag printing I use it once just to see how it is working. I would say that for single tag creation it is fine but would be nice from this tool to be able to specify just the number of unique tag we which to get, then it generate them all ready for beeing printed to an offset company.

    Beside this tool in SDK, if I can add something I whisg to get in next SDK update some basic ready control to do nice simple 3D when you are not a developper. For instance just flipping a scatter view with a good UX is awfull for me today. Which I could such thing in next realease.


    Serge (


  3. Dr. Neil says:

    Hi Luis,

    we use all three tools.

    InputVisualizer is great for validating the messages we expect to see in our application are being received by the device.

    Stress tool is really valuable for us to leave an application running for 24 (or 48 hours) and check it's performance, memory load etc…

    The ID tag printing tool is less useful as we generally use the API with our own tool, but it has been useful for one off prints for testing in the development studio.

    all the best

    Dr. Neil

    All the best

    Dr. Neil | nsquared | Microsoft Regional Director | Surface MVP | Phone: +61 2 9233 5355

  4. Mark Macumber says:

    We use all 3, but the feedback I wanted to give you is on is the printing tool, I would really love to be able to tell the GUI to print out a batch of tags for a given series to a directory and have the hex and numeric values printed below the tag, we often give heaps of tags to clients who need to match them to the custom databases or printing them out onto passes etc… and this feature would be most welcomed

    — Mark

  5. Matthias Bruch . netzkern says:


    I suggest for the printing tool to allow to specify the positions of the tags (or at least the distances of the tags to each other). A further field would be nice to pass a PDF or an image file as background. In this way we could print the tags directly on prepared templates and pass the result (regarding to the post of Serge) directly to a third party printing company.

    Thanks a lot.


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