Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Microsoft Surface

As part of my "Immersive Media and Intensely Interactive Environment" (phew!) class, we had a field visit to see the Microsoft Surface at Manifest Digital. Founder Jim Jacoby was kind enough to show us what they are doing with the surface. It is a very interesting product - essentially a Windows Vista machine with 4-5 cameras that capture any gestures (optical vs. capacitive like iPhones) with a form factor of a table. The idea of the table is to be able to get people to collect around it and interact with each other (Here are some FAQs from Microsoft about the surface)

We were also shown a demo of some stuff that Manifest Digital created to show at an IxDA conference. Neat stuff.

It did get me thinking about the business value /business driver for a company to adopt this technology (atleast in its current format). I asked Jim and he too was not sure. His thought was that the technology is so new that we will have to wait for some more user research to figure how best to use it. The surface has been installed at hotels, ATT stores and some bars/casinos. I guess it works for those locations but other than the wow factor, unless it drives up business or increases brand affinity /loyalty, I suspect this technology might just remain cool....I will post some pics tomorrow of the surface....

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