Microsoft Surface 2.0: Multi-Touch Table at its best

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Microsoft, in partnership with Samsung, debuted its new Surface 2.0 (Samsung SUR40) at the annual Consumer Electronics Show back in January. Lets take a look at what new features we can expect with this product, which is expected to ship soon at a hefty price of $7,600.

This Surface featured a 40-inch full HD display powered by an embedded 2.9GHz AMD Athlon II X2 dual-core processor and the AMD Radeon HD 6700M Series GPU with DirectX 11 support.

For those that don’t know what the Surface is, just think of your coffee table as a giant touch-screen computer. The Surface can recognize 50 points of contact at any time and can recognize pre-tagged objects. The Surface can also be mounted onto the wall, as opposed to being a table.

Here is Microsoft’s explanation on the new features in Surface 2.0:

  • Slim device. The new hardware is 4 inches thin.
  • A richer visual experience. With the rich color saturation from a full HD display and a larger screen, Surface offers a compelling, immersive visual experience that draws people in.
  • A vision-based touch experience. With PixelSense, Microsoft Surface sees and responds to touch and real world objects.
  • Touch-enabled from start to finish. With Windows 7 and Surface, there is no need for a keyboard and mouse for setup and configuration.
  • New Quick Controls. Venue staff can adjust basic settings like volume, brightness, and input source.
  • More customization options. An improved configuration utility means you can quickly make changes to background images, configure applications, and modify settings without getting into code.
  • Easier remote administration. Windows PowerShell scripts are easy to use and create, so Surface can be deployed in an enterprise setting.
  • Streamlined development for touch. The Microsoft Surface platform makes development easier with applications for Windows 7 that run on Windows Touch devices and with enhanced capabilities on the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface.

Unlike the first Surface, Surface 2.0 has a lot more “leg room.” In the original Surface, the body housed the internal components including the necessary projectors and cameras to make things work. With the new Surface, Microsoft is using new technology called “PixelSense” that utilizes a sensor to see whats touching the screen as opposed to using a bulky projector and camera.

Items placed on the Surface can now be byte-tagged, which allows the Surface to read via infrared whats placed on the screen. This will then automatically launch an app to search for that item. For businesses, this will allow customers to search for more details regarding a particular item. For example, customers can quickly find out more information about a particular drug or medicine through byte-tags. The Royal Bank of Scotland currently uses Surface to allow members to visualize their savings on the screen and also entertain kids while their parents bank.

Microsoft claims that the Surface can act as a branding tool to enhance customer interaction and user experience.

Does anyone see this as being a useful tool for businesses or for home users?

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