Microsoft Courier ...

22 Sep 2009 - 9:07pm
4 years ago
15 replies
469 reads
Grady Kelly
2007

Any of you see this yet?

http://gizmodo.com/5365299/courier-first-details-of-microsofts-secret-tablet

I like the organic feel of the video. Typically they do product visions
like this that at the end, you would think were production ready.

Grady Kelly
grady at gradykelly.com
http://www.gradykelly.com

Comments

23 Sep 2009 - 9:31am
Michael Micheletti
2006

I'm not normally given to Gadget Lust but I want this one.

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 7:07 PM, Grady Kelly <grady at simpledesign.org> wrote:

> Any of you see this yet?
>
>
> http://gizmodo.com/5365299/courier-first-details-of-microsofts-secret-tablet
>
> I like the organic feel of the video. Typically they do product visions
> like this that at the end, you would think were production ready.
>
> Grady Kelly
> grady at gradykelly.com
> http://www.gradykelly.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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--
Michael Micheletti
michael.micheletti at gmail.com

23 Sep 2009 - 11:39am
Harry Brignull
2004

The concept video shows the user writing some very small text onto the
tablet, as if it is a fine-tipped pen on good quality paper.
http://gizmodo.com/5365299/courier-first-details-of-microsofts-secret-tablet

Even assuming the technology will be available to provide that kind of
accuracy, I can't help wondering whether a hard, slick glass surface and
plastic stylus would allow you to write in that kind of detail. Is some
degree of friction and give necessary to allow you to write that small?

Any TabletPC users care to comment?
Harry

23 Sep 2009 - 11:59am
.pauric
2006

Harry: "Even assuming the technology will be available to provide
that kind of accuracy"

Nevermind accuracy... no technology exists today that I know of which
combines both capacitive (finger, multitouch) with resistive (pixel
accurate stylus input). I could be wrong... anyone used finger &
stylus on the same screen??

So then they grow some design balls to avoid cramming too many
features in to a platform that cant handle it, and they dont make a
hash out of the currently non-existent navigation...

Whats left... a 5lb web enabled filo fax that you cant do any real
work on for.. ~2K maybe?? Dont get me started on battery time (o;

This is another 'cool' product concept ala Surface table that fails
a correct triangulation between market-technology-cost.

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23 Sep 2009 - 12:13pm
.pauric
2006

Nevermind, found this in the comments at gizmodo "Capacitive
multitouch layer ABOVE the screen, Wacom Active Digitizer BELOW the
screen."

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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23 Sep 2009 - 12:20pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

Dang! I was going to slam you down with a reference to the Panasonic
Toughbook. ;-)

Best,
Jack

On Sep 23, 2009, at 6:13 AM, pauric wrote:

> Nevermind, found this in the comments at gizmodo "Capacitive
> multitouch layer ABOVE the screen, Wacom Active Digitizer BELOW the
> screen."

Jack L. Moffett
Senior Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

I am in search of the
simple elegant seductive
maybe even obvious IDEA.
With this in my pocket
I cannot fail.

- Tibor Kalman

23 Sep 2009 - 12:42pm
.pauric
2006

Jack: "Dang! I was going to slam you down with a reference to the
Panasonic Toughbook. ;-)

Best, Jack "

Just goes to show how out of touch I am, pun intended (o;

As a general aside, I do want to get out my broken record and talk
about battery. Its such a boring topic I feel a few of us would
prefer to overlook its importance in the overall experience of these
types of products. Back when the iPhone came out I was eventually
told to stick a AA in it when I mentioned power usage one too many
times. Now that people have been using these next gen smart devices
for a while, guess what the biggest pain point is

http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2009/08/14/iphone-vs-pre-satisfaction-bakeoff/

You can have the coolest UI & ID but if the device doesnt meet the
everyday day after day usage needs a significant part of the UX is
failing.

Thats not to say we shouldnt build these things, just bear in mind
that each swipe, each animation, every little cool widget uses
electrons. As an electronics engineer by training I look at the
Courier demo and cringe at the juice needed to drive all that
coolness.

I also feel that once someone creates the next-gen battery we will
have a k-t event in industrial and OS/UI design (through cpu
horsepower). That, to me, is when the cool shit will really start
happening.

regards /pauric

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23 Sep 2009 - 3:04pm
jabbett
2008

That reminds me -- I have to plug in my iPod. Thanks! ;)

On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 6:42 AM, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
> Jack: "Dang! I was going to slam you down with a reference to the
> Panasonic Toughbook. ;-)
>
> Best, Jack "
>
> Just goes to show how out of touch I am, pun intended (o;
>
> As a general aside, I do want to get out my broken record and talk
> about battery.  Its such a boring topic I feel a few of us would
> prefer to overlook its importance in the overall experience of these
> types of products.  Back when the iPhone came out I was eventually
> told to stick a AA in it when I mentioned power usage one too many
> times.  Now that people have been using these next gen smart devices
> for a while, guess what the biggest pain point is
>
> http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2009/08/14/iphone-vs-pre-satisfaction-bakeoff/
>
> You can have the coolest UI & ID but if the device doesnt meet the
> everyday day after day usage needs a significant part of the UX is
> failing.
>
> Thats not to say we shouldnt build these things, just bear in mind
> that each swipe, each animation, every little cool widget uses
> electrons.  As an electronics engineer by training I look at the
> Courier demo and cringe at the juice needed to drive all that
> coolness.
>
> I also feel that once someone creates the next-gen battery we will
> have a k-t event in industrial and OS/UI design (through cpu
> horsepower).  That, to me, is when the cool shit will really start
> happening.
>
> regards /pauric
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45951
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

23 Sep 2009 - 12:13pm
Tim Semen
2008

> Nevermind accuracy... no technology exists today that I know of which
> combines both capacitive (finger, multitouch) with resistive (pixel
> accurate stylus input). I could be wrong... anyone used finger &
> stylus on the same screen?
>

My wife's tablet PC does this very well, actually.

Scroll down to the screen section...
http://bit.ly/5hksI

Don't ask me how it works. It just does.

Tim

> So then they grow some design balls to avoid cramming too many
> features in to a platform that cant handle it, and they dont make a
> hash out of the currently non-existent navigation...
>
> Whats left... a 5lb web enabled filo fax that you cant do any real
> work on for.. ~2K maybe?? Dont get me started on battery time (o;
>
> This is another 'cool' product concept ala Surface table that fails
> a correct triangulation between market-technology-cost.
>
>
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45951
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

23 Sep 2009 - 2:17pm
Frank Siraguso
2008

It looks great for northpaws, i.e., righthanders. Think the pages can
switch?

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24 Sep 2009 - 10:38am
jaketrimble
2008

Not the end of the world (because it is just a prototype), but why
didn't they include "email" as one of the apps? The video was so
geared towards "doing business", yet they exclude that from the
demo. In my world "doing business" means having email anytime
anywhere and with instant synchronization like my Blackberry. Note
taking from emails would be just as important for me. That being
said, I really like the concept and interaction and look forward to
seeing more.

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29 Sep 2009 - 9:09am
Anonymous

Tablet devices really do nothing for me, I have to say. I just find
them incredibly awkward to write or draw on. And as someone who
freaks out if anyone so much as breathes over my fingerprint-free
30" cinema display, the thought of smearing my hands and digits all
over such a device really isn't appealing!

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30 Sep 2009 - 11:12am
.pauric
2006

Here's a slightly more in-depth scenario of the Courier concept
http://gizmodo.com/5369493

At every presented interaction I'm left wondering 2 things
a)How did the system know I wanted to do that?
b)What would happen if I didnt want to do what was on the main
scenario path?

The workflows demonstrated in the video present sophisticated
functionality; web browsing, content management & browsing,
collaboration & communication, etc. That functionality requires a
level of supporting interaction that is more complex that what is
being displayed. E.g. storing and browsing a significant amount of
images might require a different paradigm to the pageflow presented.
Some pages in the infinite journal may need to be larger than the
screen size. A user may want to re-sort if the automagic
organisation didnt suit. If a user wanted to copy some text instead
of an image and hold it in the 'fold' then they need to somehow
covert the text to an object. All this stuff is perfectly doable,
it's what keeps us all awake at night, right? but...

What the designers either fail to appreciate or they understand but
would like to ignore is that as soon as you start building a real UI
to account for all these little cases you need i/o devices with a
little more bandwidth than the given pen & finger. It certainly can
be done but the input bandwidth constraints of pen & finger will make
the experience fall apart once you stray off the demoed path.

A virtual keyboard is a must for this device but again, I'm guessing
the reason they have not demonstrated it yet is that once they add in
this detail the cracks in the UI are exposed and we realise that a
laptop/netbook isnt that bad a design after all (o; I think Apple
have made the right decision to focus their tablet on the eReader
domain and just make them iphone/itouch with big screens.

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1 Oct 2009 - 10:50am
James Haliburton
2008

My feeling is that this demo/scenario is meant to be more visionary
and to visualize different patterns and opportunities moving forward,
rather than being a representation of an upcoming product.

As far as hardware goes, there's actually a need from various
manufacturers to justify development of new/better technology. As UX
designers, by creating vivid representations of great use cases we
can actually drive the development of hardware in the right
direction. Battery life is a no brainer, of course, but things like
having great cap/res screen like capabilities need justification to
get more resources. Videos such as this become both internal and
external marketing materials for manufactures to secure resources on
interesting tracks.

This is different from tradition, where a design team might be given
a new technology and then told to make something interesting and
useful out of it.

Don't discount your visionary power for shifting industry in more
interesting directions.

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1 Oct 2009 - 2:12pm
.pauric
2006

I agree wholeheartedly on pushing the envelope with prototypes. I
disagree with you regarding the 'great use case'.

The level of interaction which is pitched in the video could have
been communicated with a static storyboard (and arguably the video is
nothing more than a storyboard with slick animations). The mockup
shown should have been a opportunity to validate the high level
storyboard, instead they gloss over or avoid some fundamentals. That
put the bee in my bonnet (o;

We're being told that the design is in final stages prototyping and
is being pitched around with a possible release mid 2010 (according
to some sources, I personally dont believe that to be likely) and as
such I suspect its meant to take a little steam out of the iTablet
due to be announced 19th Jan.

So, thats where I feel I'm justified in prodding the merits of the
design a little harder than one would if it was just a high level
early stage concept.

Microsoft have been working on this for a while
http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/23/codex-and-inkseine-the-roots-of-microsofts-courier/

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2 Oct 2009 - 4:44am
James Haliburton
2008

I also think mid 2010 is unlikely. There are some major issues to
overcome, not the least of which is technical implementation.

The slickness of the video serves a purpose beyond validating design
however. It becomes a probe. A kind of artefact that elicits feedback
- from people like us, competitors, and the market and consumers at
large.

I wholeheartedly agree with the Buxton approach to sketching user
experience, and making things disposable. But when you're reaching
out/creating visions for other stakeholders who aren't familiar with
participating in the roughness of sketches, polish goes a long way.
This will just test the high level concept, of course.

Internally in their team, I hope they've got heaps of paper and
lo-fi prototypes otherwise there are a lot of pure low level
usability issues they won't address.

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