Computers masquerading as coffee tables

Posted by at 10:09AM

All technical blogs are abuzz with the news. As Microsoft is putting it, “Surface Computing has arrived”. You can find a complete demo with some incredible videos here.

It might seem like a big coffee table with a fancy top, but its in fact a powerful computer equipped with dozens of sensors and cameras monitoring the surface and running a schmoozed up version of Windows Vista. The project was secretly under development since 2001 under the code name “Milan”. Its priced in the $5000 to $10,000 range for now and is being targeted at the Hotel industry and other large corporate customers.


True to the silicon valley tradition of hate for the evil empire , there are already allegations of plagiarism and rip-off. However, in my opinion, pieces of this technology have existed for a while and what makes this really big is that this announcement brings together all that technology into a compelling product. What matters even more is the inspiration that this might bring to someone leading to the development of applications that might have a really profound impact on how we interact with our computers.

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2 Responses to “Computers masquerading as coffee tables”

  1. Claire says:

    I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not lean over a coffee table to do work on a computer. Talk about a backache!

  2. Loren says:

    Claire, it’s not hard to imagine that the same technology can be used to make a surface that is not flat on a table but slanted like an easel. But then you can’t do stuff like put your camera on the table like it shows in the video.

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