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Displays Microsoft Input Devices Technology

Promised Microsoft Tablet 'No Thicker Than Sheet of Glass' 352

Posted by timothy
from the depends-how-thick-the-glass-is dept.
Barence writes Microsoft will deliver a touchscreen PC that is 'no thicker than a sheet of glass' within the next three years, according to the company's principal researcher. The device will be the next generation of Microsoft's Surface project, which currently houses a touchscreen PC in a deep cabinet that uses cameras to detect hand gestures and objects placed on the screen. According to Microsoft's Bill Buxton, 'Surface will become no thicker than a sheet of glass. It's not going to have any cameras or projectors because the cameras will be embedded in the device itself.' Microsoft is developing a new screen technology to make this possible. 'The best way to think about it is like a big LCD where there's a fourth pixel in every triad. So there's red, green, and blue pixels giving you light, and a fourth pixel which is a sensor that will capture stuff,' Buxton claims in an interview with The Globe and Mail."
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Promised Microsoft Tablet 'No Thicker Than Sheet of Glass'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:30AM (#33583762)

    Parts of this concept seem awfully familiar...

    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/06/04/26/1536212/Apples-All-Seeing-Screen

  • Squant (Score:2, Informative)

    by pellik (193063) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @01:57AM (#33583874)
    So in addition to the three light emitting colors that come standard, their LCDs contain a new, light capturing color. This isn't news, squant has been known for years.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @02:10AM (#33583916)

    The original article is discussing Surface's touch panel and display, which are currently a weird hodge-podge of tech, being shrunk down into a single panel which is as thin as a sheet of glass. Nothing the engineer says suggests that the whole device will be that size. Furthermore the "three year" comments are about Surface's possible consumer launch, and nothing to do with the new panel at all. PC Pro's blog dump is completely dire, read the second link.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @06:56AM (#33585040)

    Keep in mind that Microsoft still has more deployed tablets out there than Apple does -- and people seem to think they don't have a tablet solution.

    Just because it wasn't targeted to consumers, and didn't meet your needs, doesn't mean it didn't meet precisely the needs it was intended to meet.

  • by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @06:58AM (#33585054)
    Actually, I recall an article on /. a few years back talking about a new Apple patent for a monitor where every 4th pixel was a sensor. The idea at the time was that all the input could be compiled, and the entire screen was your camera, thus ending the whole 'looking away from the camera in video chat because you are looking at the screen' and a plethora of other uses. Aha, here's the article. from over 4 years ago:
    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/06/04/26/1536212/Apples-All-Seeing-Screen [slashdot.org]
  • by Taagehornet (984739) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @07:20AM (#33585214)

    Bill Buxton [wikipedia.org] isn't just some random Microsoft employee, he's one of the pioneers of the industry, and has been working with multi-touch systems since back in the early eighties [acm.org].

    Contrary to popular belief Apple didn't invent multi-touch [billbuxton.com]

    Multi-touch technologies have a long history. To put it in perspective, my group at the University of Toronto was working on multi-touchin 1984 (Lee, Buxton & Smith, 1985), the same year that the first Macintosh computer was released, and we were not the first. Furthermore, during the development of the iPhone, Apple was very much aware of the history of multi-touch, dating at least back to 1982, and the use of the pinch gesture, dating back to 1983. This is clearly demonstrated by the bibliography of the PhD thesis of Wayne Westerman, co-founder of FingerWorks, a company that Apple acquired early in 2005, and now an Apple employee:

    Westerman, Wayne (1999). Hand Tracking,Finger Identification, and Chordic Manipulation on a Multi-Touch Surface. U of Delaware PhD Dissertation: http://www.ee.udel.edu/~westerma/main.pdf [udel.edu]

    In making this statement about their awareness of past work, I am not criticizing Westerman, the iPhone, or Apple. It is simply good practice and good scholarship to know the literature and do one's homework when embarking on a new product. What I am pointing out, however, is that "new" technologies - like multi-touch - do not grow out of a vacuum. While marketing tends to like the "great invention" story, real innovation rarely works that way. In short, the evolution of multi-touch is a text-book example of what I call "the long-nose of innovation."

    Microsoft borrowing ideas from Apple again?

    It's probably the other way round. Nice troll though.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:10AM (#33585702)

    Take Leopard for example. It was announced in the spring of 2005 and didn't show up until the fall of 2007. Which means that MS has 2 1/2 years to get this released to meet your definition of "shortly after".

    There's a difference in announcing what your next version of software is going to be called and announcing it is being released. Apple announced in 2005 that they were working on the next version of OS X and it was going to be called Leopard. They released Tiger on April 29, 2005 so it's highly unlikely that they said it would release Leopard in the same year.

  • by DinDaddy (1168147) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:30AM (#33587788)

    None is overstating it, but MS does put a lot more into R&D:

    http://gizmodo.com/5486798/research-and-development-apple-vs-microsoft-vs-sony [gizmodo.com]

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