June 14, 2007

Hands on the Microsoft Surface

After raving about Microsoft Surface, I get a personal invitation from Robert Levy, a PM on the Surface SDK team to come take a look.  Robert’s job is to make sure it’s possible for the partners that want to put a Surface into their hotels, stores and theme parks to build apps to help sell whatever they’re selling.

There’re currently no plans to enable just normal humans to program it, unfortunately, or even to sell the things except to corp partners. This is too bad, cuz I definitely want one for my family room. Man, talk about a conversation starter!

The demo apps were very cool. Of course, there were the apps that are shown on the surface web site and they really work. The ones that I thought were best were when you used physical devices to control what happens on the surface, e.g. turning a knob you drop onto the surface to adjust settings, putting a camera on the surface to get the pictures, putting a credit card on the surface to pay for your drinks, etc. Of course, just using your fingers to paint or drag stuff around was fun, too.

I can definitely see these things attracting a crowd at the zoo or the local phone store. It’s a thing.