Microsoft Surface, SeaDragon and….Shadow Box


Buttery smooth interactive browsing for large images – that’s SeaDragon. When you hook it up to Surface….HOLY CRAP. Amazing….stick with this video til the end though to see the astonishing Shadow Box application on Surface. Congrats to the GottaBeMobile guys for getting this.

Note to Microsoft execs….demo the crap out of this stuff. Whatever the event, this is beautiful and needs to be shown.


hat tip to my main man Jamie

Comments (12)

  1. Jamie M says:

    Shadow Box will be the new photocopying bottoms at office parties prank.

    You heard it here first.

  2. MattR says:

    Wow – that was amazing…agreed Steve, they should be demoing  those at every opportunity.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Project says:

    that was cool. especially the way they rolled the coke bottle over it

  4. SoulSolutions says:

    Very cool!

    Does this mean we will see a deep zoom control for WPF?

    Agree you need to do more of these cool videos.

    Even better, get those surface table out there for developers! I’ll take one 😉

  5. Simon Bisson says:

    Why not get it out to every Vista and XP user? All you need is to put the control in Windows Live Photo Gallery.

  6. gg says:

    Some advice from a big microsoft supporter.  

    1.  If you are going to get demo videos out in the open have someone do them with some demo talent and put together a presentation instead of an off the cuff ‘show and tell’ with people going ‘cool’.  10 minutes in and we’re still talking about touch zoom.

    2.  Please move away from the technology fascination ("Look what we can do") and towards problem solutions ("look how this can solve your pain points").  How often do I need to zoom into photos?  After 5000 pictures taken this year I’ve zoomed into maybe 3 for touchups.  What does photocopying a coke bottle get me?  Have I ever needed to do that?

    Contrast this with how Apple demonstrated their zoom technology.  Did they show how cool their zoom technology in a vacuum?  No they applied it to the browser and showed how it can solve a HUGE pain point on browsing on small devices.  You guys need to change your way of thinking.

  7. gg

    i TOTALLY agree with you that we need to show the application of technology to solve problems people have (or don’t know they had).

    let me throw it back to you then as a microsoft supporter – if you have 10 minutes to demo MSFT stuff, what would you show and how?

    ps – witness how Surface has been used at AT&T and DeepZoom at HardRock to see realworld implementations of touch & zoom.

  8. gg says:

    To be quick.  I’m not sure.  I’ve seen the HardRock demo and went to the NY AT&T store to see the Surface.  The problem with those is the very narrow nature of their usage.  Also, they were cool but didn’t necessarily improve my experience.  It was easier in the store to just go look at phones I liked and ask the salesperson about them.

    I could see something like deep zoom being useful for Microsoft Project applications.  Those things can be huge and difficult to take in on a normal screen.  Being able to zoom in and out quickly and move around would be effective I would think (going back to my project mgr days).

    How about an architect.  Think of the Aliens movie when they were looking at closing off the duct work.  Being able to both zoom into and out of a huge architectural drawing, while at the same time degrading and improving the amount of information shown depending on the zoom could be useful.  Is this a pain point for architects?  I’m not sure.  Seems like it would be.  Have someone go interview 10 architects to find out their issues.

    I think the key is starting with the problems first which I admit some people can’t even describe well.  Here’s a huge problem I have with Outlook and all mail programs.  Why do I have to open up a new calendar event and then click a bunch of dropdowns and buttons to set it up and then launch a recurrence dialog box.  We’ve got powerful computers now.  Why can’t I type into a ‘command line’ – "Meeting with Greg Owens next Tuesday at 12pm in my office.  Recur once a week." and it figures out what I mean.  This seems like putting the real power of computing to use and something that improves my efficiency.

    It’s a tough question and a tough job and I don’t want to suggest it is easy.  But it would be a competitive advantage.

  9. Tom B says:

    Great video, Surface and touch interfaces really bring SeaDragon to life.  It’ll be interesting to see how the technology is integrated into future UI’s and applications.

    Although the photo zooming is nice and all, as gg says it’s not all that useful.  I think the best example of SeaDragon was Blaise Aguera y Arcas’ demo with the Guardian newspaper mockup.

    Being able to embed an infinate amount of detail into a single view however has fantastic potential.  The Guardian mockup touched on this, but I’m suprised there’s not been much else along those lines.

    I’ve been messing around with the DeepZoom composer and recently used it to demo an IT architecture I’ve been working on.  I was able to provide a high level view, then zoom down into the detail of the components, then zoom further into the low level configuration using images and text.  As well as looking great it was *genuinely* useful.  

    The problem is that at the moment it’s a pig to pull it all together – send the SeaDragon guys out for pizza with the Visio guys… 🙂

  10. I watch closely the progress on Surface and there are some meaningful commercial launches now and secondly

  11. Ted I says:

    @Jamie M

    As a tester for Surface, you think we haven’t already done this?  I have a great video of Surface interpretting someone sitting on the table 🙂

  12. stevecla01 says:


    thanks for thinking about this and offering the feedback. check out the Hard Rock site at

    as it happens my g/f is an architect so will ask her about that idea but agree, DeepZoom in Project would be very cool. I’ll pass that one on.

    on the outlook suggestion, take a look here

    in the start time field when scheduling an appointment, try something like "this saturday and every saturday following"

    I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised 🙂


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