Microsoft is calling it the biggest shift in computing since it gave up dos commands and went to graphics. That means no more mice, no more keyboards, it’s all hands on; KING 5’s Glen Farley tonight with the latest in technology. “This really shows you how realistic technology can be.” You can play in the water without getting wet. “No kidding.” “Yes.” Have you ever put together a jigsaw puzzle when the picture was actually moving? “We absolutely see surfaces becoming smart, right. Whether it’s in your counter top or whether it’s a freestanding coffee table, a kitchen table or on the wall. It will do multi-touch…”
Microsoft Corporate VP Tom Gibbons gives us the interactive tour. It’s called surface computing and you can do it without the interface of a mouse. “It will do object recognition.” How about ordering something off a virtual restaurant menu? “So we go into this restaurant…” “Yeah.” “And I can just take stuff here and I can drag it in.” And when it comes time to ay just lay down your credit card, divvy up the bill; add in the tip and leave. Under the screen are cameras that can actually see what you’re touching and then the computer reacts, creating an image. “There we go. And again we’ve put it down here and it spills out.” Photos? Not a problem. It’s like they’re magically drawn out of your digital camera into the box, wirelessly of course. “So you can grab photos and I can grab photos and we can make it bigger, smaller.” “So it’s almost like a big light table in this case.” “In this case it is. So we’ve used those different attributes of surface computing in this application to create a totally different kind of experience. Now if you’ve got video you want running you can actually play the video.
The first of these units will go into bars, restaurants, casinos and retail stores. But when can you get one for home? “We are shooting for around three to four years. The price tag, within a home budget. In Redmond, Glen Farley, KING 5 News. Right now commercial units are expected to sell between $5000 and $10,000. You should start seeing them in bars and restaurants in November.