Microsoft today announced a new class of hardware called Surface. Surface is a coffee-table shaped PC with a 30" touchscreen. The table allows for a multi-user and multi-touch experience, enabling some exciting possibilities for shared experiences and collaboration. The table also incorporates 5 video cameras to detect items near the surface of the table so it can interact with those items. For example, in a restaurant setting, a credit card placed on the table would allow Surface to bring up a bill, then the customer determines a tip, and then Surface could charge the card.
The table will initially be demonstrated in some hospitality settings like T-Mobile stores and Sheraton hotels later this year. I can see some exciting opportunities for ISV development targeting Surface. The system runs Windows Vista and appears to take advantage of WPF for its UI rendering. I am sure there will be an SDK for the multi-touch and camera inputs; I'll blog more about that as it becomes available.
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