Microsoft’s Surface has always been a slightly baffling product: It’s a real multi-touch large-screen PC with almost sci-fi levels of cleverness, but costs a whopping $10,000, so it’s out of most people’s reach. But clearly Microsoft loves the device, or at least its core concept, since a new Surface 2.0 will be out within two to three years.
The machine has infrared detectors built in too, which means that as well as detecting multitouch gestural inputs when users prod the screen, it detects and reacts to “mid-air” gestural controls, without anyone needing to touch anything. There’s also an expectation, pretty logically, that the PC will have uprated recognition cameras–the current unit uses five to detect and recognize objects placed on the screen.
Surface is primarily a vehicle for Microsoft to develop and perfect the technology for a narrow market–it’s mostly used in retail and tourist-trade applications, though it was recently used to coordinate Super Bowl security–and with little risk, before unleashing more consumer touchscreen products, with the benefit of years of operational testing. Hopefully the cost of all those touchy-feely gadgets in “2019” will be a lot less than $10,000.
[via BBC News]