Microsoft’s interactive table, dubbed Surface, brings the heady dream of interactive computing closer reality. As developers find ways to make Surface’s gorgeous multi-user interface shine, more and more companies are turning to the device to reinvent their customer experience. Here is a list of the Surface apps already in use, and a few that are coming soon. If you have video of these apps, or know of others that should be included here, email firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
Patient Consultation Interface for Texas Health
In conjunction with Texas Health Resources, Infusion built a demo app that shows how a digital health care system could be streamlined using Surface for patient consultations. Doctors could use surface to explain procedures and anatomy, learn about drugs and grab patient info from RFID-enabled HMO cards.
Sheraton Hotel Application
Sheraton’s luxe hotel in Seattle is home to a custom Surface app built in collaboration with Microsoft. The virtual concierge allows guests to explore a constellation of media about Seattle, all while listening to local music and using maps to plan their day trips.
Coldwell Banker’s Home Search App
MSNBC’s Electoral Coverage App
Developer Vectorform built several Surface apps specially for NBC News to use on-air, enabling political analyst Chuck Todd to interact with election results, trends, and maps to explore the last presidential election in real-time.
At their Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Harrah’s has filled the casino’s iBar with Surface units built to play games, take drink orders and interact–or more accurately, flirt–with other Surface users across the bar.
Churchend Primary School, United Kingdom
Surface isn’t all about making a sale or entertaining guests. Students and teachers at a school in the U.K. have been running a pilot program to see how Surface apps can make learning vocabulary and foreign languages more intuitive.
E-Sponder SuperBowl App
Working with the City of Tampa and the organizers of SuperBowl XLIII, Surface developer E-Sponder experimented with using Surface’s rich mapping interface to give Incident Command Staff a 3-D view of the cityscape and track emergency response resources.
Phenom Restaurant App
Surface partner Phenom developed this proof-of-concept app for restaurants and bars, to show how the hospitality industry can make ordering and learning about food entertaining and effortless.
Identity Mine Retail App
Another proof-of-concept app for the hospitality industry, this one developed by Identity Mine, shows how customers could use Surface to design a custom snowboard, shop for different vintages of wine and order drinks with a few finger-flicks.
Microsoft Mobile Connect
One of Microsoft’s in-house experimental apps is Mobile Connect, a Bluetooth-enabled app that allows a mobile phone to share multimedia and contacts with Surface just by placing the device on the screen and dragging information to and from the phone.
Related: Can’t Touch This From Issue 112 | February 2007