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Displays Microsoft Input Devices Technology

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

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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  • how thick? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dark grep ( 766587 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @02:14AM (#33583674)
    The pool fencing around my patio is 10mm thick. The floor of the Auckland tower has glass 25mm thick. So how thick is thick? A pretty pointless claim if you ask me. And three years? In Internet terms it may as well be 30 years. A stupid press release all round.
  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @02:29AM (#33583750) Journal
    Apparently [wikipedia.org] some porthole glass is two inches thick.
  • Sounds great! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @03:53AM (#33584052) Journal

    Now, can I get it with a decent OS on it, or will it only work with Windows?


  • by am 2k ( 217885 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @04:34AM (#33584176) Homepage

    I actually have read the article, and it doesn't invalidate my statement. Half a year ago I talked to a scientist working in the area of multitouch surfaces, and he told me that their approach is horrible and that they're never going to get anywhere with it, except into installations that have too much money to spend.

  • by kiddygrinder ( 605598 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @04:38AM (#33584190)
    they can just jam all the electronics not directly related to viewing or receiving input in a block at the bottom or around the screen, they didn't say anything about height, width or either of those in comparison to viewable area
  • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @04:44AM (#33584206) Homepage

    I would not be so sure about that. Hystorically, microsoft hardware division has been reasonably good in delivering on its promises.

    Also, funnily enough, most of their hardware works quite well with Linux. This reminds me, I need to get some more Microsoft XP Media Center Edition IR remote controls for my Linux HTPCs. While MCE XP was a flop, the hardware for it performs fantastically under a proper OS:)

  • by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <giles.jones@NoSpAM.zen.co.uk> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @05:20AM (#33584320)

    Once again it's all vaporware from Microsoft and everyone knows that no matter how cool the hardware is, if the software sucks then what use is it? Looking at the surface software list there's nothing available for it that is of use to anyone, unless you want a big photo viewer or map. Where's the web browser, email or office tools?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @07:49AM (#33584996)

    The vast majority of research Microsoft does is never released, and never intended to release. The media gets the reports on it wrong and claims "Microsoft will release yadda-yadda-yadda", when research projects are almost always just that.

    The IP produced from the research projects is licensed to partner manufacturers to turn into products, which is why there's usually such a lag (or why tech seems to just disappear). Courier was a perfect example of that. See the new Libretto laptop?

    You need to pay attention to WHO is announcing inside of Microsoft. Microsoft Research is not about products.

    (Posted anonymously to preserve some moderation and because I'm not 100% sure what I should or should not be posting in this regard ...)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:01AM (#33585068)

    Oh, you mean like the immensely successful Apple Pippin, the Apple Newton and Copland? See, I can cherry pick too.

    Go look at Microsoft Research [microsoft.com]. They've done a lot more than you are probably aware of.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:58AM (#33585544)

    Because someone has to do it first to prove that there is a market to go to. It's a business case.

    Um, MS has had tablets for a decade but haven't been very successful with them. A decade is more than enough time to flesh out the market. The iPad is less than 6 months old and have sold in the millions already. I think the main reason is that tablets where just a computer in a very expensive small form factor without any real thought that the UI might have to be changed.

    MS wouldn't have made the Xbox; but as a few other companies were doing very nicely thank you very much. Management and marketing had a business case with good numbers and wanted a bit of the action.

    I wouldn't hold the Xbox of a shining example of good business. While the Xbox has a good marketshare, it does not appear MS will make money on the project. Basically all MS did was pay for marketshare with billions of dollars.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:28AM (#33585912)

    Say what you like about Apple, if they announce it you can buy it shortly after.

    I am still waiting for my white iPhone 4.

  • Re:Hey! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:50AM (#33587062) Homepage Journal
    I want sytli back. They stopped shipping them because "people hate the stylus." No handwriting recognition, no advanced UIs.

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