New(s) @ Axe

News and Events of the Leonard H. Axe Library, and of the
Kansas Technology Center Library - Pittsburg (KS) State University

Friday, July 13, 2007

Microsoft Looks Good... on the Surface...

It seems as though Microsoft is helping us leave our mice behind, just as we've left the 3 1/2 disk and even the zip disk behind lately. A new product called "Surface" is their latest innovation. Basically a large table-like wireless monitor/interface that combines the functions of a monitor and touch pad in one.

This is pretty much a Vista computer inside of a table. Using 5 internal cameras, it detects your fingertips and allows you to create fantastic works of art reminiscent of Windows 3.x Paint programs. Woohoo! You could probably use Photoshop for surgical fine-tuning, but this is a new concept, and MS is marketing this as a "cool and creative" product, not yet as a "see how productive your business can be" product. Those applications will come along later.

But, given enough intere$t and con$umer inve$tment, con$ider this $enario:
Take out your wireless enabled MP3 player, digital camera,and cell phone. Instantly, around each device, an array of photos or album covers spill out onto the Surface around each. With a fingertip, you drag a photo to the center of the table, and with a finger in opposite corners, you turn and re-size the photo. Like it? Save it to the computer, or move it from digital camera to the cell phone like a poker dealer.

Use Google maps to plan a vacation and drag route plans onto your cell phone. While on your trip, you can stop by that fancy restaurant to eat, and when you are done, simply lay your credit card on the Surface, and drag pictures of the lobster thermador and cherry cheesecake onto it. Easy peazy, life is good.

I'm sure libraries will find a use for it before long. Lay your books on it, along with your checkout card, and off you go. Drag that database search over to your cell phone. Pay fines with your credit card...

I'd sure buy one if I could set a reel of microfilm on it and have it spill out each newspaper article, and let me drag the ones I wanted, along with a newly created index onto my Blackberry.

Then life would be good.


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