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Have you checked Surface out yet?  It’s definitely one of the coolest, most innovative things I’ve seen since I started working at Microsoft. I first heard about Surface when they announced it last year.  Shortly thereafter, the marketing department sent out an email inviting employees to attend an informational session on it — I signed up immediately.  Luckly I arrived early enough to get a seat… the place was packed!  It got down to standing room only and even then people were clamoring for a prime vantage point along the back wall.

Unlike the iPhone’s scrolling-trackpad-on-steroids touch system, Surface’s interface is way cooler and does a lot more.  There are 5 cameras built into the base that read the objects and gestures it “sees” on the tabletop.  For more specific details on how it works, you can visit the Platform page on the Surface site.  You’ll find some of the demos presented during that informational session there as well, but to give you a brief rundown, I’ve outlined some of the more impressive ones below.

Surface isn’t available for consumers yet, but it has made its debut in the retail space with AT&T in New York City, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Francisco.  Right now they’re using it to show the coverage area for their plans…

… and as a really cool sales tool to help shoppers compare features on different phones:

The non-retail applications are pretty spiffy too.  You can sort through digital representations of your photo collections and videos as though they were actual prints laid out on a tabletop:

You can organize and access your music collection with the CD artwork intact:

… and you can use it to figure out how to get from point A to point B:

I don’t want to get myself into trouble by talking about applications that haven’t been officially announced yet, so I’m going to leave it here for now.  For information on how (and where) Surface is currently being used, you can visit the Opportunities page for details and you can keep up with the latest by reading the blog.  They’ve got some great content over there that should give you a pretty good idea of what this thing is capable of.

July 2018
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