Multi-touch computing: simply amazing!

I was very excited when I first saw the multi-touch-screen technology demo by Jeff Hans on TED Talks earlier this year. Like Jeff said in his talk, it hinted at what new turns the standard human-computer interaction might take in the near future. A lot of different researchers and companies had been working on it for atleast a decade now but Jeff's demo was the first of its kind that I had seen that delivered such an impressive and seemingly feature-complete product. However, since it was just a technology demo I expected to be left to drool at this marvel till the technology is perfected and hit the market in a few years.

It really didn't occur to me that such products may hit the market as soon as this year. So, I was very surprised when Microsoft recently announced their Surface computing device for release in November! Their "Surface" product delivers the full multi-touch computing experience with an interaction surface area that of a coffee table. Apparently, it can track upto 52 touch points and can even recognize objects placed on it. The product essentially follows similar technology to what was demoed at TED Talks by Jeff. But what really astounded me was the technology demos that Microsoft and technology reviewers have published on the product. Microsoft seems to have done a lot of mock applications to show how the multi-surface interface can be used and exploited towards a radically fresh computing experience. This really is a case of seeing is believing (and being impressed) and requires a look at the demo videos.

Sadly though, with the product's supposed price tag of around US$ 5000, it really packs a blow to the wallet. The price will certainly go down as more multi-touch devices from other companies appear on the market. Apple has already incorporated multi-touch technology on their soon-to-be-released iPhone but will deliver the multi-touch experience at a smaller scale.

Check out the video below of Microsoft's Surface - there's more on YouTube. If anyone would like to give me a spontaneous gift for any reason, I surely wouldn't mind receiving one of these babies! ;-)