What do you think of Microsoft Surface

30 May 2007 - 6:53am
4 years ago
56 replies
2999 reads
Håkan Reis
2006

http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

I find there are quite a few interesting concepts here, especially the
interaction with "real" objects. The clips in the third video is the most
interesting:
- Placing a camera on top of the desk and move images to you portable
player.
- Browsing your media files and drop them on the media player.
- Pay for things by dropping the items on the physical credit cards.

/ Håkan

--
Håkan Reis
Dotway AB

Phone: +46 (768) 51 00 33

http://blog.reis.se

Comments

30 May 2007 - 7:10am
Jarod Tang
2007

1. It's interesting that the makes the represent model more closely to the
user's mental model.
2. It looks like the extension version of the iPhone's multi touch, but this
extension is very cool.

Cheers
-- Jarod

On 5/30/07, Håkan Reis <hakan.reis at dotway.se> wrote:
>
> http://www.microsoft.com/surface/
>
> I find there are quite a few interesting concepts here, especially the
> interaction with "real" objects. The clips in the third video is the most
> interesting:
> - Placing a camera on top of the desk and move images to you portable
> player.
> - Browsing your media files and drop them on the media player.
> - Pay for things by dropping the items on the physical credit cards.
>
> / Håkan
>
> --
> Håkan Reis
> Dotway AB
>
> Phone: +46 (768) 51 00 33
>
> http://blog.reis.se
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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--
IxD for better life style.

http://jarodtang.blogspot.com

30 May 2007 - 7:26am
Jeremiah Peschka
2007

Surface certainly has phenomenal cool and novelty factors going for it. The
possibilities of using it as something like a smart kiosk in a busy hotel
lobby or other public location are phenomenal. In situations like this,
Surface will excel.

The cool factor of Surface aside, I think that it ignores some major aspects
of interacting with computers.

For long term interaction with computers, the interface needs to be more
than novel, it needs to be natural and comfortable. I can't see many people
purchasing an ugly table to plop in their homes just to share music and
photos. Nor can I see people using this type of interface for all but the
most casual of tasks. In the portion of the video where the woman writes
'Hi Mom!', her actions look very awkward and forced. Yes, I know she's an
actor, but having used touch screens before I know how unnatural they feel
to me.

I also think the restaurant scene stinks of many of Bill Gates's pipe dreams
that he outlined in The Road Ahead. Part of our interaction at a restaurant
depends so much on the description of the food on paper. This is something
that I think many customers expect. I certainly can't see this being picked
up outside of chain restaurants like Applebee's and Friday's.

There's a lot of novelty here, but behind the novelty and cool of Surface,
I'm not sure that I actually see a lot of room for realistic, day to day,
interaction.

Jeremiah

On 5/30/07, Håkan Reis <hakan.reis at dotway.se> wrote:
>
> http://www.microsoft.com/surface/
>
> I find there are quite a few interesting concepts here, especially the
> interaction with "real" objects. The clips in the third video is the most
> interesting:
> - Placing a camera on top of the desk and move images to you portable
> player.
> - Browsing your media files and drop them on the media player.
> - Pay for things by dropping the items on the physical credit cards.
>
> / Håkan
>
> --
> Håkan Reis
> Dotway AB
>
> Phone: +46 (768) 51 00 33
>
> http://blog.reis.se
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

14 Mar 2010 - 3:49pm
John Do It
2007

h

26 Mar 2010 - 5:31pm
Bowen Hendy
2009

From what I have experienced from the surface which was bought by City London university, it does not live up to its hype. Especially seeing as the one I used was shipped with Vista pre-installed (Shipping date was post the windows 7 launch)

So, while running vista it was slow, unstable and lacked some of the functionality you can produce if you build a surface your self and use the open source app's which are available.

In short, its a 10k coffee table for flashy corporate offices.

B On 14/03/2010 21:12, John Do It wrote: > h > >

30 May 2007 - 8:04am
Marty DeAngelo
2007

I seem to remember this technology being presented by Jeff Tan awhile
ago - see it in action on YouTube (TED 2006).

I like the concept for some things - the manual manipulation of
photographs, for example, is very intuitive. I'd be dubious of some
of the other pipe dreams in the videos, but I do think there's
potential there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 May 2007 - 8:39am
Fred Beecher
2006

On 5/30/07, Jeremiah Peschka <jeremiah.peschka at gmail.com> wrote:
> Surface certainly has phenomenal cool and novelty factors going for it. The
> possibilities of using it as something like a smart kiosk in a busy hotel
> lobby or other public location are phenomenal. In situations like this,
> Surface will excel.

Definitely. I think the first planned use is in the commercial space,
where there are many appropriate uses for a natural interface like
this. Consumers will have access to it some time later.

> For long term interaction with computers, the interface needs to be more
> than novel, it needs to be natural and comfortable. I can't see many people

Agreed. The ergonomic issues involved seem pretty major to me. If you
look at the pictures of people using it, their postures look like they
would get very uncomfortable after more than five minutes. Possibly
before then.

> I also think the restaurant scene stinks of many of Bill Gates's pipe dreams
> that he outlined in The Road Ahead. Part of our interaction at a restaurant
> depends so much on the description of the food on paper. This is something
> that I think many customers expect. I certainly can't see this being picked
> up outside of chain restaurants like Applebee's and Friday's.

When I saw that I had an immediate urge to grab a joystick and play
Ms. Pac-Man on it. :)

> There's a lot of novelty here, but behind the novelty and cool of Surface,
> I'm not sure that I actually see a lot of room for realistic, day to day,
> interaction.

In the consumer space, I do see some room, but for most tasks this
likely very expensive table would be overkill. Here are some of the
good uses I can imagine for it:

- Interfacing with music collections stored on other computers in
the home and selecting music to play on the home stereo.

- As above, but with movies, videos, etc.

- Games. Obviously.

- Sharing content with others. (The content transfer interaction
looks *extremely* cool, but I can see all sorts of problems with
implementing it... first off, how can it possibly work with every
device out there, which is what it needs to do to be useful.)

If they shrunk this down into a tablet PC sized format and basically
made it a glorified master remote control, I think that would be a
more appropriate format for these tasks (with the exception of sharing
content, which can already be done through email, and playing games,
which can already be done in far too many ways).

- Fred

30 May 2007 - 8:47am
Trip O'Dell
2007

> I seem to remember this technology being presented by Jeff Tan awhile
> ago - see it in action on YouTube (TED 2006).
>
Jeff Tan's prototype wasn't specifically multiuser, it just tracked
pressure points on the surface with infrared, this system seems to
have at least some form of multiuser (or multi object) awareness.

Mitsubishi (MERL in Boston) has a (top projected) table product that
has been trying to gain traction for years. It actually looks like
Microsoft has been peeking at their notes (just going by some of the
interfaces in the video). The limitations of the MERL implementation
seem to be addressed here - I'm not sure how the Microsoft table is
able to tell one user from another, but the Diamond Touch table
required the user to sit or stand on a pad that completed an
electrical circuit with the table top.

The addition of tangibles on the Microsoft side is really
interesting. I'm not sure how it's being done (or if its just smoke
and mirrors). Multitouch, multi user surfaces are going to challenge
most of the classic single user GUI conventions going forward,
especially where usability is concerned. It will be an interesting
time to be in IxD.

Trip O'Dell
Interaction Designer
www.tripodell.com
------------------------------
"Specialization is for insects..."
-Robert A. Heinlein

On May 30, 2007, at 8:04 AM, Marty DeAngelo wrote:

30 May 2007 - 8:59am
Trip O'Dell
2007

>> I also think the restaurant scene stinks of many of Bill Gates's
>> pipe dreams
>> that he outlined in The Road Ahead. Part of our interaction at a
>> restaurant
>> depends so much on the description of the food on paper.

I think this makes some fairly broad cultural and generational
assumptions. This would be the case in a fine dining context where
presentation is an expected part of the experience. But in situations
where ease of use, clarity, customization are more desirable I can
see this as an attractive option. There are many, many applications
for this kind of interaction if they can sort out some of the
physical and social conventions of the device - such as who owns the
picture on the desktop and when does someone else have permission to
take it, how do you determine when (and with whom) I want to share
data when I put my phone down on the table, etc.

30 May 2007 - 9:06am
Jeremiah Peschka
2007

On 5/30/07, Trip O'Dell <tripodell at mac.com> wrote:
>
> There are many, many applications
> for this kind of interaction if they can sort out some of the
> physical and social conventions of the device - such as who owns the
> picture on the desktop and when does someone else have permission to
> take it, how do you determine when (and with whom) I want to share
> data when I put my phone down on the table, etc.
>

Curiously enough, this also raises an interesting side note of what
different kinds of personal etiquette the ubiquity of this type of device
could create. If I'm out to dinner with somebody and I don't want to share
any of my info with them, I just keep my phone/PDA in my pocket or, at the
very least, off the sensing surface, but I could create an opening for
interaction (and an opening into my personal information, tastes, etc) by
simply plopping down my device of choice in order to augment our currently
standard social interaction.

30 May 2007 - 9:13am
.pauric
2006

Where's the food falling off the plate in the restaurant, the
watermark rings from cold drinks at the bar, feet up on the table
when taking a phone call on the sofa?

Tables are used for putting stuff on. Displays are used for
conveying information. Add input device functionality and you have a
problem.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 May 2007 - 9:09am
Isabel Froes
2007

I think you mean Jeff Han:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/65?gclid=COCysM2FtowCFQgRZwodYx1KNA

The Microsoft surface is almost too similar...

At 03:04 PM 30-05-07, you wrote:
>I seem to remember this technology being presented by Jeff Tan awhile
>ago - see it in action on YouTube (TED 2006).
>
>I like the concept for some things - the manual manipulation of
>photographs, for example, is very intuitive. I'd be dubious of some
>of the other pipe dreams in the videos, but I do think there's
>potential there.
>
>
>. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>Posted from the new ixda.org
>http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728
>
>
>________________________________________________________________
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2300 København S
Denmark
www.ciid.dk

30 May 2007 - 9:13am
Håkan Reis
2006

To the little I have read about this thing there are a few things that are
different to the Apple multi touch. I think that the setup with rear
projection is possibly for the curent "version 1" incarnation. The aim has
to be a LCD or what ever comes along.

However, there are cameras involved here to identify real objects, different
users and gestures with infrared sensitivity. Not only the touch screen.

--
Håkan Reis
http://blog.reis.se

30 May 2007 - 9:24am
Marty DeAngelo
2007

I seem to remember this technology being presented by Jeff Tan awhile
ago - see it in action on YouTube (TED 2006).

That should be Jeff Han ... my apologies.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

30 May 2007 - 9:25am
Patrick G
2006

Along the same lines is the question of setting permissions at the
level of individual folders or files. What if I put my camera down
with the intention of sharing snapshots from my vacation with
coworkers, only to realize I also have black and white nudes taken
for my photography class on the same memory card? Obviously there
could be some level of security setting within the device itself, but
this example underscores the fact that controlling access to our
"personal" devices through sheer proximity to the body is going to
become more difficult. The need for technologically mediated social
protocols in such circumstances is critical.

On May 30, 2007, at 10:06 AM, Jeremiah Peschka wrote:

> On 5/30/07, Trip O'Dell <tripodell at mac.com> wrote:
>>
>> There are many, many applications
>> for this kind of interaction if they can sort out some of the
>> physical and social conventions of the device - such as who owns the
>> picture on the desktop and when does someone else have permission to
>> take it, how do you determine when (and with whom) I want to share
>> data when I put my phone down on the table, etc.
>>
>
> Curiously enough, this also raises an interesting side note of what
> different kinds of personal etiquette the ubiquity of this type of
> device
> could create. If I'm out to dinner with somebody and I don't want
> to share
> any of my info with them, I just keep my phone/PDA in my pocket or,
> at the
> very least, off the sensing surface, but I could create an opening for
> interaction (and an opening into my personal information, tastes,
> etc) by
> simply plopping down my device of choice in order to augment our
> currently
> standard social interaction.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

30 May 2007 - 9:27am
Håkan Reis
2006

The TED was all about the multitouch and concepts on zooming and navigation.
Yes, thats in the MS version. But I think the live object interaction is the
key here. That was not on the TED

--
Håkan Reis
http://blog.reis.se

30 May 2007 - 10:20am
Will Parker
2007

On May 30, 2007, at 7:27 AM, Håkan Reis wrote:

> The TED was all about the multitouch and concepts on zooming and
> navigation.
> Yes, thats in the MS version. But I think the live object
> interaction is the
> key here. That was not on the TED

No, but live object interaction IS in the Starfire Project video and
the Sony Data Tiles demo and several other 'Active Object' demos.
There's little in the MS product that hasn't been wandering around in
the IxD research community for the last 10-15 years.

Some of you may recall that Gates showed off a prototype of this at
CES 2006. (I'll supply the link later if anyone is interested.)

His scenario for the display surface involved several improbable
things, like people displaying and editing what should be highly
secure personal and corporate data on an open table in an airport
lounge. Oh, and don't forget to pick up that wallet you put on the
table in order to log in.

Aside from the ergonomic issues one would encounter waving your arms
around vigorously during an extended session with one of these
devices, the chief architectural problems I see are security and
equipment maintenance.

Sure, you can spill you data out on the table for everyone around to
see, but what happens to the data when you leave? What happens to
data associated with one of those data tiles when you walk away with
it in your pocket? What happens when the data tiles for the table
inadvertently get dropped on the floor and swept up by the janitor?
Do _you_ own the file system, or does the table owner own you?

- Will

Will Parker
wparker at ChannelingDesign.com

“I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If
that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products.” -
Steve Jobs

30 May 2007 - 10:38am
Håkan Reis
2006

I don't want to start some kind of OS war here but I just think of one
thing:

Most of the what's in for example the iPhone isn't new. And not even
invented by Apple. But when Apple put things together in an innovative
manner they get credit for it (and they should). Another example is the
scroll wheel on the iPod. Quite a few years earlier found on B&O systems.

What I'm getting at here is that when MS does the same thing, put together
things in new ways, they get bashed about it, accused of stealing.

"Good artists copy; great artists steal" - Picasso (and recited Steve Jobs)

As for the security issues, I'm all with you Will :)

--
Håkan Reis
http://blog.reis.se

30 May 2007 - 10:49am
Josh Seiden
2003

If I could buy these today and mount them on walls, I would replace
every whiteboard in my office.

I would be delighted to put these on the desks of the design group
here. Can you imagine a multi-touch-enabled diagramming tool? Instead
of clicking all day, we could build our wireframes and prototypes with
lego blocks.

And I can't wait to design software for this thing. Never mind all
the quibbling. This is a seriously disruptive technology.

JS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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30 May 2007 - 10:54am
Sara Summers
2006

I couldn't agree more.
What I don't understand is why they are marketing it as a coffee table
for drinks and family photos?!

Sara Summers

> If I could buy these today and mount them on walls, I would replace
> every whiteboard in my office.
>
> I would be delighted to put these on the desks of the design group
> here. Can you imagine a multi-touch-enabled diagramming tool? Instead
> of clicking all day, we could build our wireframes and prototypes with
> lego blocks.

30 May 2007 - 11:05am
Trip O'Dell
2007

About 50% of the work I currently do involves the underlying
technologies at work here - and the MS video uses some serious smoke
and mirrors under ideal conditions to show the capabilities of the
table. I am assuming they are using infrared/camera occlusion for
the multipoint and object tracking on the surface (this is why the
table has to be rear projected and not an LCD).

The problem with infrared is that it gets really squirrely under
different lighting conditions. If you use it in a room with a lot of
natural light/powerful overhead lights, you're going to have
difficulties controlling the interface Reflected light off a shiny
surface like a tile floor can even cause problems. That is the reason
so many of these demonstrations are conducted in dark/ carefully
light rooms.

On May 30, 2007, at 10:54 AM, Sara Summers wrote:

> I couldn't agree more.
> What I don't understand is why they are marketing it as a coffee table
> for drinks and family photos?!
>
> Sara Summers
>
>> If I could buy these today and mount them on walls, I would replace
>> every whiteboard in my office.
>>
>> I would be delighted to put these on the desks of the design group
>> here. Can you imagine a multi-touch-enabled diagramming tool? Instead
>> of clicking all day, we could build our wireframes and prototypes
>> with
>> lego blocks.

30 May 2007 - 11:18am
Dirk Platzek
2007

Sure, you can spill you data out on the table for everyone around to
see, but what happens to the data when you leave? What happens to
data associated with one of those data tiles when you walk away with
it in your pocket?
Excellent point. Discredits the suggested scenarios quite a bit.
Typically Microsoft comes along with Surface -- *after* everybody
else had all the ideas...What bothered me the most wasn't so much
the implementation (in fact the real object/touch screen interaction
adds some magic), but that Microsoft has already partnered with all
kinds of cheesy chain hotels and casinos. Such poor and limited
imagination!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

30 May 2007 - 11:46am
Alain D. M. G. ...
2003

Yes, this is very interesting but that table can actually do much more
with just a few internal tweaks since it seems based on the prototype I
saw at an ACM conference in Santa Fe New Mexico, where Andrew D. Wilson
of Microsoft Research demonstrated his Touchlight
software/hafrdware/new materials combo prototype.

Yes, I also was there in person a year later when Jeff Han demonstrated
his own prototype at an ACM conference in Seattle, and I can tell you
that the Microsoft Touchlight prototype had a lot more functionalities
in it in addition to being elegantly conseived and executed. Jeff Han's
work was nice too and I played with it for some time, but it din,t have
so many potential apps as Touchlight.

By the way, you can use this thing as a table but Andrew D. Wilson did
his presentation on a vertical Touchlight prototype. I hope they
market it as a vertical application also.

His ongoing multiple day demo was:

A Demonstration of TouchLight, an Imaging Touch Screen and Display for
Gesture-Based Interaction. Andrew D. Wilson (Microsoft Research)

UIST 2004, the Seventeenth Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface
Software and Technology, Santa Fe, New Mexico from October 24–27, 2004.

--- Håkan Reis <hakan.reis at dotway.se> a écrit :

> http://www.microsoft.com/surface/
>
> I find there are quite a few interesting concepts here, especially
> the
> interaction with "real" objects. The clips in the third video is the
> most
> interesting:
> - Placing a camera on top of the desk and move images to you portable
> player.
> - Browsing your media files and drop them on the media player.
> - Pay for things by dropping the items on the physical credit cards.
>
> / Håkan
>
> --
> Håkan Reis
> Dotway AB
>
> Phone: +46 (768) 51 00 33
>
> http://blog.reis.se
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
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> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
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30 May 2007 - 11:57am
Chris Bernard
2007

A true story as related to me by someone that witnessed it. When the On Star system was first invented by General Motors they got a bunch of visionaries and press folks and threw them at a car and trucked them around a track at the GM proving grounds. Then some GM guy said something to effect of "Watch this" as he used the On Star system to have it automatically lock and unlock the car doors while they drove. Pretty stupid demonstration of what eventually came to be a compelling new technology that was in essence a new automotive platform for innovation derived of basic and boring things (cellular technology, GPS, automotive computing and HCI design for automotive).

Recently I've been somewhat surprised by how dismissive some of the active members of this board are about some of the many innovations that are presented for debate on this board. One could argue that the IxD discipline should and could play a much more active and useful role in demonstrating the utility and value of many of the new innovations that have been discussed.

But most of what I see here is an active discussion of why things can't be done or why they won't work and the repetitive discussion about what the best tools are for our job versus the practice of our craft. Those that seem to value a perspective of curiosity or iteration seem to have their thoughts summarily dismissed because a new product or innovation doesn't get everything right.

There are some positive and innovative opportunities that technologies like Microsoft Surface present to the IxD designer and issues like security and privacy are important and valuable but shouldn't discount some of the innovations that Microsoft Surface enable (I'd also argue these are solvable issues as well). Some of the innovations of Microsoft Surface go beyond just the end state of the actual hardware (for example Microsoft Surface applications are built using WPF, which means an ecosystem of tools and talent exist today that can make applications for the Surface platform).

The potential in living in a world with active surfaces opens up a world of new opportunity for how we craft experiences. Microsoft Surface isn't just a new Pac-Man console knock-off, it's a technology that has the potential for many applications. I'm a bit surprised that many don't see that here and presume that the smattering of scenarios that are demonstrated represent an end-state versus a starting point.

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dirk Platzek
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 11:19 AM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What do you think of Microsoft Surface

Sure, you can spill you data out on the table for everyone around to
see, but what happens to the data when you leave? What happens to
data associated with one of those data tiles when you walk away with
it in your pocket?
Excellent point. Discredits the suggested scenarios quite a bit.
Typically Microsoft comes along with Surface -- *after* everybody
else had all the ideas...What bothered me the most wasn't so much
the implementation (in fact the real object/touch screen interaction
adds some magic), but that Microsoft has already partnered with all
kinds of cheesy chain hotels and casinos. Such poor and limited
imagination!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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30 May 2007 - 12:17pm
.pauric
2006

Håkan: "What I'm getting at here is that when MS put together things
in new ways they get bashed about it"

Thats a fair comment. Areas of improvement with Apple products have
bootstrapped an entire industry iProduct accessories.

I can't wait for the co-branded Ikea mTable... 'A table for all the
stuff that you cant put on your MS Surface table.'

Not to mention the plethora of cute mTablecloths to stop the surface
getting damaged. Or the mTable docking station because you didnt
think to put a mains power plug in the middle of your living room
floor.

p.isstaking

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

30 May 2007 - 12:31pm
Jeremiah Peschka
2007

Personally, I think that the biggest hurdle to the eventual adoption of
Surface, above all else, is moving beyond traditional HCI paradigms (e.g.
beyond the smart kiosk). Once people, myself included, get beyond our
initial skepticism, I think that this shows a lot more promise than some
other options in the past.

A comment I found the most intriguing was something about using it as a
"glorified master remote control" sparked a lot of interest in me because it
has the potential to do the things outlined in the videos, and then go
beyond that to controlling an entire house from a central location. Think,
for instance, of some of th previous potential home automation solutions.
They rely on either high end gadgets or more slapped together systems. What
if I could turn off the lights, lower my 1980s swanky electric blinds, and
cue up a movie to watch, all from my coffee table.

As a software developer, the idea of being able to develop for so many
platforms using WPF excites me. Knowing that I could extend these
applications to run on my coffee table is even more interesting to me.

On 5/30/07, Chris Bernard <Chris.Bernard at microsoft.com> wrote:
>
> A true story as related to me by someone that witnessed it. When the On
> Star system was first invented by General Motors they got a bunch of
> visionaries and press folks and threw them at a car and trucked them around
> a track at the GM proving grounds. Then some GM guy said something to effect
> of "Watch this" as he used the On Star system to have it automatically lock
> and unlock the car doors while they drove. Pretty stupid demonstration of
> what eventually came to be a compelling new technology that was in essence a
> new automotive platform for innovation derived of basic and boring things
> (cellular technology, GPS, automotive computing and HCI design for
> automotive).
>
> Recently I've been somewhat surprised by how dismissive some of the active
> members of this board are about some of the many innovations that are
> presented for debate on this board. One could argue that the IxD discipline
> should and could play a much more active and useful role in demonstrating
> the utility and value of many of the new innovations that have been
> discussed.
>
> But most of what I see here is an active discussion of why things can't be
> done or why they won't work and the repetitive discussion about what the
> best tools are for our job versus the practice of our craft. Those that seem
> to value a perspective of curiosity or iteration seem to have their thoughts
> summarily dismissed because a new product or innovation doesn't get
> everything right.
>
> There are some positive and innovative opportunities that technologies
> like Microsoft Surface present to the IxD designer and issues like security
> and privacy are important and valuable but shouldn't discount some of the
> innovations that Microsoft Surface enable (I'd also argue these are solvable
> issues as well). Some of the innovations of Microsoft Surface go beyond just
> the end state of the actual hardware (for example Microsoft Surface
> applications are built using WPF, which means an ecosystem of tools and
> talent exist today that can make applications for the Surface platform).
>
> The potential in living in a world with active surfaces opens up a world
> of new opportunity for how we craft experiences. Microsoft Surface isn't
> just a new Pac-Man console knock-off, it's a technology that has the
> potential for many applications. I'm a bit surprised that many don't see
> that here and presume that the smattering of scenarios that are demonstrated
> represent an end-state versus a starting point.
>
> Chris Bernard
> Microsoft
> User Experience Evangelist
> chris.bernard at microsoft.com
> 312.925.4095
>
>
>
> Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
> Design: www.microsoft.com/design
> Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression
>
> "The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William
> Gibson
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:
> discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dirk Platzek
> Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 11:19 AM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What do you think of Microsoft Surface
>
> Sure, you can spill you data out on the table for everyone around to
> see, but what happens to the data when you leave? What happens to
> data associated with one of those data tiles when you walk away with
> it in your pocket?
> Excellent point. Discredits the suggested scenarios quite a bit.
> Typically Microsoft comes along with Surface -- *after* everybody
> else had all the ideas...What bothered me the most wasn't so much
> the implementation (in fact the real object/touch screen interaction
> adds some magic), but that Microsoft has already partnered with all
> kinds of cheesy chain hotels and casinos. Such poor and limited
> imagination!
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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30 May 2007 - 12:54pm
lachica
2006

Thanks for posting this. It brings a lot of thoughts to mind:

- That was a very impressive TED talk from Jeff Han. The future of
technology is in these types of computer interactions that feel 'natural'

- We're really going to have to figure out the DRM issues and the
proprietary media formats for mobile phones and music devices to be able to
touch the potential of this type of technology

- I'm surprised that Microsoft is advertising something as being 'set and
play' when, from my experience, they can barely figure out 'plug and play'

- This will create a huge market for a new type of interaction design

- I need to go back and watch Minority Report and refresh my memory on their
3D version of this type of human-computer interaction

Best,

Julie Horns

On 5/30/07, Håkan Reis <hakan.reis at dotway.se> wrote:
>
> http://www.microsoft.com/surface/
>
> I find there are quite a few interesting concepts here, especially the
> interaction with "real" objects. The clips in the third video is the most
> interesting:
> - Placing a camera on top of the desk and move images to you portable
> player.
> - Browsing your media files and drop them on the media player.
> - Pay for things by dropping the items on the physical credit cards.
>
> / Håkan
>
> --
> Håkan Reis
> Dotway AB
>
> Phone: +46 (768) 51 00 33
>
> http://blog.reis.se
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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>

30 May 2007 - 1:26pm
Josh Seiden
2003

Hey Chris,

Thanks for your comments.

Surface reminds me of a lot of the work that Bill Buxton has done
over the years. Since he's now at Microsoft, I would assume he's
had some role in this project, if only spiritual. I wonder if you
know anything about his involvement in the project.

Also, anything you can share about what designers can expect to see
as part of this program?

JS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

30 May 2007 - 1:21pm
Pete Hensing
2007

This is just my opinion, but it seems like most of the usage of this kind of interface would be manipulating existing information, not creating new information. I couldn't imagine looking down and typing on a virtual keypad with this table for long periods of time.

However, one thing that popped into mind when I watched the images being transferred from the camera is this could be using it as a virtual light table. I remember the days of old where I would hunch over counters and cut rubylith and paste layouts with hot wax. It would be cool to have a virtual exacto knife and be able to undo the mistakes I would make, arrange things with a finger and send them off to print with a swipe of a hand.

Pete

30 May 2007 - 1:36pm
Trip O'Dell
2007

> - That was a very impressive TED talk from Jeff Han. The future of
> technology is in these types of computer interactions that feel
> 'natural'

I still think the clearest vision for these kinds of interactions are
those that were offered by Mark Weiser of Xerox PARC back in '93:
http://www.ubiq.com/hypertext/weiser/SciAmDraft3.html

> - We're really going to have to figure out the DRM issues and the
> proprietary media formats for mobile phones and music devices to be
> able to
> touch the potential of this type of technology

Devices like this may actually simplify issues like DRM. The problem
with DRM protected media is controlling distribution rights while
allowing the registered owner to use the file on multiple devices.
One way to do this is associate the file with a user as opposed to a
specific machine. A table is a perfect context for a transactional
interface. A user "brings" their files, rights, preferences to the
table in the form of a tangible like a phone (or even handprint
since we're dealing with cameras) and can play, exchange, loan, the
files with others present.

When the user leaves the table, the transaction ends and the files
are removed from the table.

I

>
> - I'm surprised that Microsoft is advertising something as being
> 'set and
> play' when, from my experience, they can barely figure out 'plug
> and play'

Lets be fair - This shouldn't be an Apple vs Microsoft Argument (and
in the interest of full disclosure - I am a Mac user) Microsoft has
had a (sometimes unearned) reputation for bad usability for quite
some time, but it's a very big company with many, many products. On
software I would tend to agree with you, windows tries to be all
things on all machines, office tries to be a productivity tool for
all users. But I have found products like the Xbox extremely well
designed, especially compared to the competition. I haven't been in a
position to judge the Zune, but the ipod has some glaring issues -
like how do I turn it off, what if its cold outside and I'm wearing
gloves (I know this one b/c I live in Milwaukee). And while on the
topic of Apple, why the stubborn instance on a 1 button mouse?

I think Surface should be judged on its own merits. While the table
is an implementation which has been around for awhile, MS is the
first to try and bring it to market in a meaningful way. I'm looking
forward to playing with one.

>

30 May 2007 - 2:13pm
Chris Bernard
2007

I know some of the work predates Bill's arrival at Microsoft but I've asked him to see how much he was involved. Certainly if you look at Bill's work from a cognitive perspective there's a great deal of overlap, or rather potential, in terms of how Microsoft Surface could be used. I'm not sure if any of the folks have seen some of the collaboration scenarios developed by Microsoft and (I think) Steelcase that showcase the 'office of the future.' Many of the scenarios demonstrated in that environment had a collaboration component that could be greatly enhanced by surface computing.

>From a design front there are a number of things that might be interesting here.

One is finding out the role that design actually plays on the Microsoft Surface team as it moves from a research into a full-blown project initiative.

Two is how surface computing could influence the design process itself. Much of the big-D design that we all do really requires us all to be in the same place to be effective. Could future surface computing interfaces enable us to do better work together remotely?

Three is how the Microsoft Surface platform is build upon Vista and WPF. What this means (although I'm not in a position to give a roadmap yet) is that the development toolsets for developers (Visual Studio) and for designers (Expression Studio) will support the creation of applications that run on the Microsoft Surface computing platform.

I suspect the most powerful solutions that take advantage of surface computing will work the same way they do with all good experience design. Namely a focus on optimization across different touch points based on user insight and context. In a world where the NETWORK versus the desktop is the real platform I'd be surprised if the best use of this platform won't need to be aware of context and digital channel optimization to work best. We'll need to make sure that the experience with a phone, digital camera, laptop or other device is well integrated.

Chris Bernard
Microsoft
User Experience Evangelist
chris.bernard at microsoft.com
312.925.4095

Blog: www.designthinkingdigest.com
Design: www.microsoft.com/design
Tools: www.microsoft.com/expression

"The future is already here. It's just not evenly distributed." William Gibson

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Josh Seiden
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 1:27 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What do you think of Microsoft Surface

Hey Chris,

Thanks for your comments.

Surface reminds me of a lot of the work that Bill Buxton has done
over the years. Since he's now at Microsoft, I would assume he's
had some role in this project, if only spiritual. I wonder if you
know anything about his involvement in the project.

Also, anything you can share about what designers can expect to see
as part of this program?

JS

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

________________________________________________________________
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30 May 2007 - 2:49pm
Håkan Reis
2006

More from Jeff:

http://www.macrumors.com/2007/02/12/more-multitouch-from-jeff-han/

--
Håkan Reis
Dotway AB
http://blog.reis.se

30 May 2007 - 12:51pm
Will Parker
2007

On May 30, 2007, at 8:38 AM, Håkan Reis wrote:

> I don't want to start some kind of OS war here but I just think of
> one thing:
>
> Most of the what's in for example the iPhone isn't new. And not
> even invented by Apple. But when Apple put things together in an
> innovative manner they get credit for it (and they should). Another
> example is the scroll wheel on the iPod. Quite a few years earlier
> found on B&O systems.
>
> What I'm getting at here is that when MS does the same thing, put
> together things in new ways, they get bashed about it, accused of
> stealing.

OK, OK, I'll tone down mentions of the quite enormous amount of prior
art evident here. But first, some useful references:

Sony DataTiles: http://www.sonycsl.co.jp/person/rekimoto/datatile/
Sun Starfire Project: http://www.asktog.com/starfire/index.html
Direct Manipulation: http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/
aliakseyeu02direct.html
Graspable UIs: http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/fitzmaurice95bricks.html
Tangible UIs: http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/ullmer97metadesk.html
Physical Icons: http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/ullmer98mediablocks.html

Microsoft Surface: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

I'm sure I could come up with a dozen more in the next hour or so,
and some of them not even in Citeseer. ;-)

> "Good artists copy; great artists steal" - Picasso (and recited
> Steve Jobs)

Yes, but which is happening here? I'll hold off on my assessment
until I see more than a few promo videos.

> As for the security issues, I'm all with you Will :)

The root of my security concerns lies in the way MS is marketing the
Surface devices. The security issues would appear to be manageable if
these devices are in a private venue, but Microsoft's initial
partners (at least as shown in the co-branding in the current demos)
appear to be airports, hotels and resorts. The stereotypical user
appears to be a mid-to-high level business traveller.

The demo scenarios quite rightly focus on group interactions in a
public setting. Admittedly, the current crop of demos are for
publicity purposes, but they reflect an idealized, simplified
environment, in which the people interacting are all friends and
colleagues, there are no untrusted bystanders, and no thought
whatsoever is spared for what happens _after_the group is done with
the device.

BTW, speaking of designing interactions, somebody tell me that the
highly public Surface promotion this morning is NOT BillG's attempt
to set the agenda for the joint interview with Jobs at the D
Conference tonight.

- Will

Will Parker
wparker at ChannelingDesign.com

“I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If
that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products.” -
Steve Jobs

30 May 2007 - 4:06pm
natekendrick
2005

On May 30, 2007, at 8:38 AM, Håkan Reis wrote:

> Most of the what's in for example the iPhone isn't new. And not even
> invented by Apple. But when Apple put things together in an innovative
> manner they get credit for it (and they should). Another example is
> the
> scroll wheel on the iPod. Quite a few years earlier found on B&O
> systems.
>
> What I'm getting at here is that when MS does the same thing, put
> together
> things in new ways, they get bashed about it, accused of stealing.

We're missing a key step - Apple puts things together in a truly
useful, engaging, natural, and innovative ways.

The scroll wheel showed up well before B&O for cryin' out loud - what
about any fm/am radio dial? What about the rolodex? What about... we
could go on and on on prior art.

The key is that Apple applied it to a large mp3 song list and made it
actually navigable via the scroll wheel and a great digital
interface. B&O did not do this years ago.

--

Back to the topic at hand... MS is getting bashed here because at
first glance there's just too many questions on how Surface would
work. I for one found the Zune sharing incredibly cool. But when the
smartphone was set down on the virtual map - straight into the ocean
area - I was thinking "why doesn't the cellphone create a ripple and
sink" But instead it didn't do anything. In fact, how is the user to
know when and where placing anything would work?

Because the interaction is so open, and so casual that it is
unusable. There immediately arises so many unanswered questions that
Surface begins to feel vapid and marketing hype... which no doubt
half of that has to do with the incredibly ridiculous production of
the commercials themselves.

-Nathan

30 May 2007 - 4:22pm
Will Parker
2007

On May 30, 2007, at 9:57 AM, Chris Bernard wrote:

> Recently I've been somewhat surprised by how dismissive some of the
> active members of this board are about some of the many innovations
> that are presented for debate on this board. One could argue that
> the IxD discipline should and could play a much more active and
> useful role in demonstrating the utility and value of many of the
> new innovations that have been discussed.
>
> But most of what I see here is an active discussion of why things
> can't be done or why they won't work and the repetitive discussion
> about what the best tools are for our job versus the practice of
> our craft. Those that seem to value a perspective of curiosity or
> iteration seem to have their thoughts summarily dismissed because a
> new product or innovation doesn't get everything right.

Chris, I see -- and actually applaud -- your point, but you have to
realize that many of us are in fact paid to be professional
nitpickers. I certainly am, so I must admit that the Critic is among
my default public personas.

I realize that demos for publicity necessarily often leave out the
gnarly bits. I do look forward to further demos and screencasts --
aimed a technical audience -- that cover the issue of security of
Surface devices in public venues, which seems to be the initial
positioning for Surface devices per today's demo and BillG's preview
at CES 2006.

I'd also like to see a great deal more content regarding:

- Ergonomic analyses of using Surface devices in a daily production
environment rather than in casual, short-term usage.
- Future Surface hardware designs that do not require multiple IR
cameras to sense objects placed on the device.
- Integration of Surface technology or Surface-enabling technologies
(WiFi, RFID, BlueTooth, etc.) in portable devices and everyday objects.
- Integration of Surface interaction paradigms into existing
Microsoft software lines.

> There are some positive and innovative opportunities that
> technologies like Microsoft Surface present to the IxD designer and
> issues like security and privacy are important and valuable but
> shouldn't discount some of the innovations that Microsoft Surface
> enable (I'd also argue these are solvable issues as well).

Yes, of course this is a new venue for IxD, but frankly, that means
the IxD implications _need_ to be analyzed and debated in _many_
venues such as this one.

Regarding security, I urge the Surface to address the security and
privacy issues early on if indeed your initial market positioning
includes low-to-no-privacy venues in airport and hotel lounges.

> Some of the innovations of Microsoft Surface go beyond just the end
> state of the actual hardware (for example Microsoft Surface
> applications are built using WPF, which means an ecosystem of tools
> and talent exist today that can make applications for the Surface
> platform).
>
> The potential in living in a world with active surfaces opens up a
> world of new opportunity for how we craft experiences. Microsoft
> Surface isn't just a new Pac-Man console knock-off, it's a
> technology that has the potential for many applications. I'm a bit
> surprised that many don't see that here and presume that the
> smattering of scenarios that are demonstrated represent an end-
> state versus a starting point.

When I buy a computer, it's in an end state as far as hardware goes.
The platform may move on, but the unit *I* own may not. When the
device in question costs upwards of $5000, is the size of a table,
and is probably going to be used by people I consider to be
customers, rather than colleagues, I will want to know _particularly_
that the hardware in question has been designed with user security in
mind, if only because I won't want to build a reasonably secure venue
in which to place the Surface.

Sincere thanks for offering the chance for direct kibitzing. I'll now
go and check out the goodies at the Surface site.

- Will

Will Parker
wparker at ChannelingDesign.com

“I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If
that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products.” -
Steve Jobs

30 May 2007 - 4:39pm
natekendrick
2005

Fantastic response Will - we are all critics, many more so than
creators.

I do like to add that maybe, just maybe, if MS really cared about
public opinion and how their products are received then they would
communicate them differently.

The Surface website and commercial-like 5th Ave ad agency production
all smacks of selling product and not selling innovation and a future
of innovation.

If it really is a platform for creating experiences - communicate it
that way! Right now it shows specific non-conceptual usecases: people
can only think of the product in the narrow way it is presented. The
onus is NOT on us to think out of the box of how it could be used
when it is shown in such a way.

-N

On May 30, 2007, at 2:22 PM, Will Parker wrote:

> On May 30, 2007, at 9:57 AM, Chris Bernard wrote:
>
>> Recently I've been somewhat surprised by how dismissive some of the
>> active members of this board are about some of the many innovations
>> that are presented for debate on this board. One could argue that
>> the IxD discipline should and could play a much more active and
>> useful role in demonstrating the utility and value of many of the
>> new innovations that have been discussed.
>>
>> But most of what I see here is an active discussion of why things
>> can't be done or why they won't work and the repetitive discussion
>> about what the best tools are for our job versus the practice of
>> our craft. Those that seem to value a perspective of curiosity or
>> iteration seem to have their thoughts summarily dismissed because a
>> new product or innovation doesn't get everything right.
>
> Chris, I see -- and actually applaud -- your point, but you have to
> realize that many of us are in fact paid to be professional
> nitpickers. I certainly am, so I must admit that the Critic is among
> my default public personas.
>
> I realize that demos for publicity necessarily often leave out the
> gnarly bits. I do look forward to further demos and screencasts --
> aimed a technical audience -- that cover the issue of security of
> Surface devices in public venues, which seems to be the initial
> positioning for Surface devices per today's demo and BillG's preview
> at CES 2006.
>
> I'd also like to see a great deal more content regarding:
>
> - Ergonomic analyses of using Surface devices in a daily production
> environment rather than in casual, short-term usage.
> - Future Surface hardware designs that do not require multiple IR
> cameras to sense objects placed on the device.
> - Integration of Surface technology or Surface-enabling technologies
> (WiFi, RFID, BlueTooth, etc.) in portable devices and everyday
> objects.
> - Integration of Surface interaction paradigms into existing
> Microsoft software lines.
>
>> There are some positive and innovative opportunities that
>> technologies like Microsoft Surface present to the IxD designer and
>> issues like security and privacy are important and valuable but
>> shouldn't discount some of the innovations that Microsoft Surface
>> enable (I'd also argue these are solvable issues as well).
>
> Yes, of course this is a new venue for IxD, but frankly, that means
> the IxD implications _need_ to be analyzed and debated in _many_
> venues such as this one.
>
> Regarding security, I urge the Surface to address the security and
> privacy issues early on if indeed your initial market positioning
> includes low-to-no-privacy venues in airport and hotel lounges.
>
>> Some of the innovations of Microsoft Surface go beyond just the end
>> state of the actual hardware (for example Microsoft Surface
>> applications are built using WPF, which means an ecosystem of tools
>> and talent exist today that can make applications for the Surface
>> platform).
>>
>> The potential in living in a world with active surfaces opens up a
>> world of new opportunity for how we craft experiences. Microsoft
>> Surface isn't just a new Pac-Man console knock-off, it's a
>> technology that has the potential for many applications. I'm a bit
>> surprised that many don't see that here and presume that the
>> smattering of scenarios that are demonstrated represent an end-
>> state versus a starting point.
>
> When I buy a computer, it's in an end state as far as hardware goes.
> The platform may move on, but the unit *I* own may not. When the
> device in question costs upwards of $5000, is the size of a table,
> and is probably going to be used by people I consider to be
> customers, rather than colleagues, I will want to know _particularly_
> that the hardware in question has been designed with user security in
> mind, if only because I won't want to build a reasonably secure venue
> in which to place the Surface.
>
> Sincere thanks for offering the chance for direct kibitzing. I'll now
> go and check out the goodies at the Surface site.
>
> - Will
>
> Will Parker
> wparker at ChannelingDesign.com
>
> “I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If
> that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products.” -
> Steve Jobs
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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30 May 2007 - 6:06pm
Pawson, Mark
2007

The first thing I thought of when I saw the video was this is similar
to the Intel wall panel that was displayed at CHI 2007. And I beleive
Saul GreenBerg's team at the University of Calgary has been working
in this too.
So who gives a hoot if Microsoft is trying to make it sound like all
their idea. I was excited by the Intel possibilities and Surface has
rekindled that because for the first time I can really see how
computers will finally reduce paper in my life. The amount of
calendars and emails we have pinned around walls in my house to
remember kids sports, school, fundraising, meetings, my wife's
schedule, and my bands gigs all splitting around us like
parameciums.. Halleluiah it will all be in one place now, with
automatic "you are going insane scheduling conflicts".... and no
one can say "I didn't know about that" .... :)

.. Now all I have to do is think of a better excuse while they are
getting the bugs out of this technology.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

30 May 2007 - 6:29pm
Matt Attaway
2004

As a games guy I think the interaction with physical objects is the most
exciting part. I'm very much into touch interfaces( I want my Star Trek! )
but I haven't seen anyone integrating physical object interactions into
their touch interfaces. Sony is actually making a PS3 title that uses good
ol' fashioned collectible cards with a special mat and the Eyetoy camera
to enable players to play their analog card game over the Internet.

http://kotaku.com/gaming/top/ps3-hd-eye-toy-card-game-dated-255419.php

Microsoft Surface could very easily do that and much more. The idea of
playing minatures based games on a dynamic surface that can take care of
some of the more tedious mechanics is very appealing. The fact that it
could work with multiple players around the table or over the Internet
makes it even exciting.

Matt

30 May 2007 - 6:36pm
Rob Adams-Kane
2007

You definitely want to play with your OWN deck of cards on one of these tables!

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Matt Attaway
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 4:29 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What do you think of Microsoft Surface

As a games guy I think the interaction with physical objects is the most exciting part. I'm very much into touch interfaces( I want my Star Trek! ) but I haven't seen anyone integrating physical object interactions into their touch interfaces. Sony is actually making a PS3 title that uses good ol' fashioned collectible cards with a special mat and the Eyetoy camera to enable players to play their analog card game over the Internet.

http://kotaku.com/gaming/top/ps3-hd-eye-toy-card-game-dated-255419.php

Microsoft Surface could very easily do that and much more. The idea of playing minatures based games on a dynamic surface that can take care of some of the more tedious mechanics is very appealing. The fact that it could work with multiple players around the table or over the Internet makes it even exciting.

Matt

Rob Adams-Kane

W.A. Hynes & Company, Inc.
(800) 823-1470
(707) 586-2222
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30 May 2007 - 6:51pm
Erik Gibb
2007

Slightly off topic...

At the last Yahoo Hack Day, a couple of folks from the Messenger team put together a fun RFID hack to change your Messenger status. A dressed up Chumby connected to your computer sits on your desk. If you decide to go away for coffee, you place a stuffed and RFID chipped drinking-coffee icon on the Chumby. The chip changes your Messenger status to a preset message like "Out getting coffee." http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=385815&fr=

What made this a beautiful design was the added simple analog notification to folks who wander past your desk. It won the Fun Hack category :)

Erik

On Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at 04:30PM, "Matt Attaway" <matt at perforce.com> wrote:
>As a games guy I think the interaction with physical objects is the most
>exciting part. I'm very much into touch interfaces( I want my Star Trek! )
>but I haven't seen anyone integrating physical object interactions into
>their touch interfaces. Sony is actually making a PS3 title that uses good
>ol' fashioned collectible cards with a special mat and the Eyetoy camera
>to enable players to play their analog card game over the Internet.
>
>http://kotaku.com/gaming/top/ps3-hd-eye-toy-card-game-dated-255419.php
>
>Microsoft Surface could very easily do that and much more. The idea of
>playing minatures based games on a dynamic surface that can take care of
>some of the more tedious mechanics is very appealing. The fact that it
>could work with multiple players around the table or over the Internet
>makes it even exciting.
>
>Matt

30 May 2007 - 7:14pm
Rodrigues Comandolli
2007

And Accessibility?

On 5/30/07, Erik Gibb <erikgibb at mac.com> wrote:
>
> Slightly off topic...
>
> At the last Yahoo Hack Day, a couple of folks from the Messenger team put
> together a fun RFID hack to change your Messenger status. A dressed up
> Chumby connected to your computer sits on your desk. If you decide to go
> away for coffee, you place a stuffed and RFID chipped drinking-coffee icon
> on the Chumby. The chip changes your Messenger status to a preset message
> like "Out getting coffee."
> http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=385815&fr=
>
> What made this a beautiful design was the added simple analog notification
> to folks who wander past your desk. It won the Fun Hack category :)
>
> Erik
>
>
> On Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at 04:30PM, "Matt Attaway" <matt at perforce.com>
> wrote:
> >As a games guy I think the interaction with physical objects is the most
> >exciting part. I'm very much into touch interfaces( I want my Star Trek!
> )
> >but I haven't seen anyone integrating physical object interactions into
> >their touch interfaces. Sony is actually making a PS3 title that uses
> good
> >ol' fashioned collectible cards with a special mat and the Eyetoy camera
> >to enable players to play their analog card game over the Internet.
> >
> >http://kotaku.com/gaming/top/ps3-hd-eye-toy-card-game-dated-255419.php
> >
> >Microsoft Surface could very easily do that and much more. The idea of
> >playing minatures based games on a dynamic surface that can take care of
> >some of the more tedious mechanics is very appealing. The fact that it
> >could work with multiple players around the table or over the Internet
> >makes it even exciting.
> >
> >Matt
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
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> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
Rodrigues Comandolli
Arquiteto de Informação
Terra Networks - América Latina
http://www.comand.art.br

30 May 2007 - 10:09pm
Erik Gibb
2007

Rodrigues,

Accessible? What's not accessible about a felted stuffed smiley face slurping coffee, catching zzz's or stuffing it's face? Bunnies couldn't be more accessible! Thank you folks I'll be here all night!

But seriously... the tokens could be designed to provide tactile feedback for visual impairments, manufactured light and small enough to be managed by those with physical challenges, and the visual language would be friendly(er) for folks who learn/comprehend differently.

Or are you talking about Surface? That would be a bit more difficult to make accessible. Difficult, messy and fun! Perhaps a stretchy surface that displays braille and suggest the physical attributes of the objects you're manipulating? Gloves that interact with magnets to provide tactile feedback?

Erik

On Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at 05:37PM, "Rodrigues Comandolli" <rcomandolli at gmail.com> wrote:
>And Accessibility?
>
>On 5/30/07, Erik Gibb <erikgibb at mac.com> wrote:
>>
>> Slightly off topic...
>>
>> At the last Yahoo Hack Day, a couple of folks from the Messenger team put
>> together a fun RFID hack to change your Messenger status. A dressed up
>> Chumby connected to your computer sits on your desk. If you decide to go
>> away for coffee, you place a stuffed and RFID chipped drinking-coffee icon
>> on the Chumby. The chip changes your Messenger status to a preset message
>> like "Out getting coffee."
>> http://video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=385815&fr=
>>
>> What made this a beautiful design was the added simple analog notification
>> to folks who wander past your desk. It won the Fun Hack category :)
>>
>> Erik
>>
>>
>> On Wednesday, May 30, 2007, at 04:30PM, "Matt Attaway" <matt at perforce.com>
>> wrote:
>> >As a games guy I think the interaction with physical objects is the most
>> >exciting part. I'm very much into touch interfaces( I want my Star Trek!
>> )
>> >but I haven't seen anyone integrating physical object interactions into
>> >their touch interfaces. Sony is actually making a PS3 title that uses
>> good
>> >ol' fashioned collectible cards with a special mat and the Eyetoy camera
>> >to enable players to play their analog card game over the Internet.
>> >
>> >http://kotaku.com/gaming/top/ps3-hd-eye-toy-card-game-dated-255419.php
>> >
>> >Microsoft Surface could very easily do that and much more. The idea of
>> >playing minatures based games on a dynamic surface that can take care of
>> >some of the more tedious mechanics is very appealing. The fact that it
>> >could work with multiple players around the table or over the Internet
>> >makes it even exciting.
>> >
>> >Matt
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>
>
>
>
>--
>Rodrigues Comandolli
>Arquiteto de Informação
>Terra Networks - América Latina
>http://www.comand.art.br
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

30 May 2007 - 10:32pm
Trip O'Dell
2007

On May 30, 2007, at 10:09 PM, Erik Gibb wrote:

> Or are you talking about Surface? That would be a bit more
> difficult to make accessible. Difficult, messy and fun! Perhaps a
> stretchy surface that displays braille and suggest the physical
> attributes of the objects you're manipulating? Gloves that interact
> with magnets to provide tactile feedback?

How do you make a multi-touch interface accessible for visual
impairment? That is a REALLY interesting question. A multi-touch
system is very different from a traditional GUI (where only a single
point of user interaction is tracked) the system has to respond
appropriately to several context dependent interactions
simultaneously. When is a user hand motion a meaningful gesture? How
many users are interacting? Are there gestures that need to be
ignored as incidental contact?

Rather than haptic or tactile feedback I think it would be
interesting to hook a Surface unit up to a surround sound system and
create a navigable 3D soundscape for the visually impared. The
technology is already in use in game environments, directional aural
feedback seems like it would be a more natural metaphor for someone
who is blind. Objects can be assigned distinct rhythms tones and
sounds that pan and fade based on "proximity" of the user agent in
the 3d space. It would certainly be an interesting interface to
research and prototype.

30 May 2007 - 11:08pm
Michael Micheletti
2006

I saw a demo of the "TouchTable" from Northrop Grumman at an APCO conference
a couple years ago. It looked really fun, but they wouldn't let me play with
it :( I remember it as being so expensive that the new MS one sounds like a
pretty good deal in comparison. Here's a link:
http://www.ms.northropgrumman.com/touchtable/

Michael Micheletti

On 5/30/07, Will Parker <wparker at channelingdesign.com> wrote:
>
>
> OK, OK, I'll tone down mentions of the quite enormous amount of prior
> art evident here. But first, some useful references:
>

31 May 2007 - 7:46am
ldebett
2004

As I'm coming back from vacation, I haven't had the time to read through all
(43!) responses yet, so I apologize if my comments have already been
discussed.

My first *gut* reaction to this was, "WOAH. This is big." I've also seen
lots of "prior art" at trade shows, etc., but they've been prototypes. It's
easy to show ideas off in prototype version at a trade show, but it's
*wicked hard* to actually bring a bunch of stuff together and get it through
a company's product development process to bring to market. It's like all
those sexy concept cars you see at the Auto Shows in Frankfurt, Paris,
Tokyo, NYC... inspiring for sure, but you never see them at the dealer. I'm
- personally and professionally - very psyched to see that MS is trying to
bring this to market. Esp. because MS is the 800 lb. gorilla that it is. I
think this product could be the first step of a very long, very divergent
path for HCI, IxD, UX, Life as we know it... etc., etc., etc.

The members of this list have brought up a LOT of questions around security,
feasibility, performance, use, etc., and they are all valid ones. The videos
show off a lot of great ideas, many of which are very far-fetched (for
reasons discussed here and elsewhere) BUT without lofty goals like these,
how would "we" ever make such great things? Smoke and mirrors today,
silicone and plastic tomorrow. In time, all these questions will be
answered, and new ones will be formed. I'm just going to take a pause now to
appreciate just how much hard work has gone into this.

Kudos.

~Lisa deBettencourt

(PS. if you know me, you also know that I'm a diehard Apple user.)

31 May 2007 - 9:03am
.pauric
2006

Matt Attaway: "As a games guy I think the interaction with physical
objects is the most exciting part. I'm very much into touch
interfaces( I want my Star Trek!) but I haven't seen anyone
integrating physical object interactions into their touch
interfaces."

You might be interested in the reactable thats been doing the rounds
over the last couple of years

http://mtg.upf.es/reactable/?media

For me, I'd like to see the reactable solution be a front end to
process management or MS project. Objects = resources. E.g. I, as a
ui designer, could be placed on the table with my available bandwidth
pulled out of the system, the development plan/timescales update.
Might be nice for a complex Agile environment.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

31 May 2007 - 9:07am
.pauric
2006

hmmm... here the link again http://mtg.upf.es/reactable/?media

(Jeff, putting links in brackets doesnt work from within donahue,
I'll raise a bug separately)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

31 May 2007 - 9:04am
.pauric
2006

sorry, here's the link, bug in the new beta site wont let you wrap
links in brackets

http://mtg.upf.es/reactable/?media

rgds - pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

31 May 2007 - 1:33pm
Becubed
2004

> BUT without lofty goals like these,
> how would "we" ever make such great things?

Hear, hear, Lisa. Come on, folks: we're supposed to be the poster-children
of abductive thinking. Let's get past worries about dirty tabletops and
security and start imagining what COULD be.

Products such as Surface are fantastically exciting for IxD, as they're
helping to commercialize entirely new interaction paradigms. How cool is
that? Easy answer: very.

--
Robert Barlow-Busch
Terapath Inc.
bbb at terapath.net

Blog: www.chopsticker.com

31 May 2007 - 2:12pm
.pauric
2006

"we're supposed to be the poster-children of abductive thinking"

With all due respect, we're supposed to apply a little real world
context to marketing hyperbole and engineering out design.

Yes this is a step forward, ixd evolution, for which we should be
excited. Its also been noted there is nothing fantastically really
new here. This is evolution not revolution and a time for a little
natural selection thinking.

When are people supposed to ask questions about re-purposing a table,
security? Whats the business case for a device thats only going to be
found the executive lounge of the airport/hotel?

There's nothing wrong with getting excited about this but there are
valid questions about context of use and it's exactly our job to ask
them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=16728

31 May 2007 - 2:35pm
Becubed
2004

> With all due respect, we're supposed to apply a little real world
> context to marketing hyperbole and engineering out design.

Agreed. Now let's apply our skills at abductive thinking to see past the
hyperbole and recognize other more contextually-appropriate opportunities.
This stuff is absolutely coming down the pipe towards us.

> When are people supposed to ask questions about re-purposing a table,
> security?

I suggest the best time to ask such questions is *after* recognizing the
positive qualities. Call it the hamburger technique: sandwich our criticism
between points of praise. It's an effective rule to apply during any design
review, as it's not only polite and respectful, but sets us in a more
positive frame of mind.

For a more sophisticated take on this, check out Edward De Bono's Six
Thinking Hats:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Bono_Hats

> Whats the business case for a device thats only going to be
> found the executive lounge of the airport/hotel?

Here's one: to showcase new technologies to people in positions of
influence, in hopes that someone will see opportunities to innovate upon it.

--
Robert Barlow-Busch
Terapath Inc.
bbb at terapath.net

Blog: www.chopsticker.com

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