Surfacing Soon Near You

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Yesterday I ended up at the AT&T store on Park Avenue which happens to be one of the first stores to deploy Microsoft’s Surface.  For those who don’t know, Surface is Microsoft’s multitouch technology.  The verdict?  This blows the iPhone away and is the coolest interactive technology I’ve ever used.

When you go into the store, you can take a phone and place it on the surface touchscreen (actually, any phone but an iPhone).  The table reads the phone and then loads data about that model to the screen.

You can then push buttons to explore different aspects of the phone.  One loads features - on cue cards (photo above) - that can be resized by pinching, rotated and thrown about the screen.  Another option is to see different colours for each model, simply by dragging a colour from a palette onto a picture of the phone.

It’s a playful way to explore and much more fun than a catalogue or a flysheet.  It’s also truly multitouch: two or more people can use it at once (the iPhone can only sense two points on its screen at once; no limitation on that here).

The only drawback?  The screen feels a little odd and I suspect it would dry out my fingers if I used it too much.  A small price to pay for such an engaging experience.

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