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Surface Computing (Part1 of 2)
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Summary
A team working on hardware initiatives of Microsoft was given a challenge to come up with a computer that is more approachable, convenient and collaborative. Four years of innovation and research at Microsoft led to the development of the world's first Surface Computer. It allows for usage of one's hands as in the real world to directly interact with the computer. For example, to paint using the surface computer, one can dip one's hands in virtual paint and touch the surface. Every such point is recognized by the computer and the image is transmitted up to the diffuser by a projector that is present in the system. It also allows for massive multi touch, multi user manipulation where one could use all the fingers at the same time or drag a palm across the surface.
Object Recognition: Surface computer allows for manipulation and interaction using objects like paint brushes, credit cards, bar codes, tags etc. This is done by an inbuilt computer vision system. This technology could revolutionize the way in which customers interact within various retail environments. The video shows amazing examples of how a surface computer could be put to use in cell phone stores and restaurants. Photos, video management and manipulation capabilities form another very interesting feature of a surface computer.
A surface computer allows for very easy credit card transaction mechanisms. Hotels, retailers, pubs, stores, casinos are potential target customers for a surface computer. The back end of a surface computer consists of a Windows Vista based system that is combined with a set of cameras that sense differences in infrared light on the surface of the diffuser. A DLP projector is used to project the required images or intensities over the screen. A video puzzle is a video based zigzag system that is an added feature to the surface computer which can provide a lot of entertainment to customers in a commercial setting. 'Water', is another feature that is so realistic that it lets uses interact with a surface computer in a way that is pretty close to real world interactions. In this video, Mark Bolger discusses and shows real life examples while interacting with the surface computer. He is the director of marketing for surface computing at Microsoft.
Part2: http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=ttQOQDu-IQs
Keywords: Microsoft, Surface computer, paint, multi touch, multi user, DLP Projector, video puzzle, object recognition, computer vision, Windows Vista
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