Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th May 2007 09:54 UTC, submitted by Laurence
Microsoft "Microsoft has unveiled a new touch-sensitive coffee table-shaped computer called 'Surface'. Designed to do away with the need for a traditional mouse and keyboard, users can instead use their fingers to operate the computer. Also designed to interact with mobile phones placed on the surface, Microsoft says it will initially sell the unit to corporate customers. These will include hotels, casinos, phone stores and restaurants." Instant update: More details and a video.
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Mmmm okay
by gonzalo on Wed 30th May 2007 11:04 UTC
gonzalo
Member since:
2005-07-06

In a way, yes, it is very interesting and cool. Even omg-i-want-one-now cool.

But in another way, the impression I get is that of an interesting technology which still does not have a clear usage. I mean, sure, I can see how this would work for the number of things shown in the video, but what about other uses of a computer? Writing, for example, is probably not very suited to this interface.

And also, this looks tiring. I don't know if I'd be able to stay at it for a couple of hours. Even just playing with photos and surfing the web. More than 10 minutes hunched on a table moving my hands around? Woa, too much effort.

Edited 2007-05-30 11:11

Reply Score: 3

RE: Mmmm okay
by dagw on Wed 30th May 2007 14:22 in reply to "Mmmm okay"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Are people really that lazy? As someone who used to spend hours hunched over a lighttable moving slides and negatives around with my hands (and hunched over trays of chemicals and and elargers etc.) I can assure you it isn't a problem at all unless you happen to be the worlds most lazy and unfit person.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Mmmm okay
by thecwin on Wed 30th May 2007 16:18 in reply to "RE: Mmmm okay"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

Except that it isn't our 'job' to have fun, and if something is remotely more difficult than an existing technology, I can't see people using it.

It's not that it's tiring or anything, it's just awkward. If they get the visibility issues sorted, it'd make a great light table with a few modifications. Remember though, that this isn't sort of desktop height, it's coffee table height which is lower and more awkward to use.

Coffee tables aren't work surfaces, they're temporary storage locations where you shove things like remote controls, cameras (the one good thing about this table) and cups of.. um.. coffee.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Mmmm okay
by MiliTux on Wed 30th May 2007 18:33 in reply to "RE: Mmmm okay"
MiliTux Member since:
2007-05-16

Are people really that lazy? As someone who used to spend hours hunched over a lighttable moving slides and negatives around with my hands (and hunched over trays of chemicals and and elargers etc.) I can assure you it isn't a problem at all unless you happen to be the worlds most lazy and unfit person.


Maybe you're just superman. I'm a climber, and consider myself pretty fit, but when working at a pc for an extended period of time, my neck gets really sore. My brother-in-law suffers from a similar problem, except he gets migraines.

I've also tried to do varsity work on a coffee table, and being hunched over a table is even worse than sitting at a computer. It's all good and well during, but as soon as you try and get up...

Edited 2007-05-30 18:35

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Mmmm okay
by LobalSurgery on Wed 30th May 2007 14:59 in reply to "Mmmm okay"
LobalSurgery Member since:
2006-09-07

I agree with the ergonomics issue. While this would be great for stores or other promotional, 3-minute-at-a-time uses, it would probably hurt your neck during extended periods of time for home use.

What they could do, however, is allow the opposite top edge of the coffee table to open up, say, to 45 degrees or so, and lock into position. It might look weird, but I think this would make it easier to use. This would allow it to double as a video screen (I apologize if any of this is in the video, I'm not able to watch it right now).

Reply Parent Score: 2