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Microsoft announces coffee table

naengwennaengwen Registered User regular
edited June 2007 in Games and Technology
Well, to be more specific, it's Microsoft's multi-touch solution in the form of a coffee table, but you get the picture.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4217348.html?page=1

___

The software giant will announce at the D5 conference today that it’s built a new touchscreen computer—a coffee table that will change the world. Go inside its top-secret development with PopularMechanics.com, then forget the keyboard and mouse: The next generation of computer interfaces will be hands-on.

Microsoft's corporate campus is a sprawling affair, with more than 100 buildings scattered over 261 acres. To make sense of it all, you have to navigate by numbers. The Microsoft Visitor Center, for instance, is in Building 127, north campus, while the Microsoft Conference Center is in Building 33, just down the road from the company soccer and baseball fields. About 4 miles away, however, there is an unnumbered building that is decidedly "off campus." In that building, Microsoft has quietly been developing the first completely new computing platform since the PC — a project that was given the internal code name Milan. This past March, when the project was still operating on the down low, I became the first reporter invited inside these offices. My hosts politely threatened legal consequences if I blabbed about the project to anyone not directly involved in it, then escorted me down a dark hallway to a locked corner conference room. Inside that room was Microsoft's best-kept technology secret in years ... a coffee table.

The product behind the Milan project is called the Microsoft Surface, and the company's unofficial Surface showman is Jeff Gattis. He's a clean-cut fellow who is obviously the veteran of a thousand marketing seminars. He spoke in sentences peppered with "application scenarios," "operational efficiencies" and "consumer pain points" while he took me through a few demonstrations of what the Surface can do. One of Gattis's consumer pain points is the frustrating mess of cables, drivers and protocols that people must use to link their peripheral devices to their personal computers. Surface has no cables or external USB ports for plugging in peripherals. For that matter, it has no keyboard, no mouse, no trackball — no obvious point of interaction except its screen.

Gattis took out a digital camera and placed it on the Surface. Instantly, digital pictures spilled out onto the tabletop. As Gattis touched and dragged each picture, it followed his fingers around the screen. Using two fingers, he pulled the corners of a photo and stretched it to a new size. Then, Gattis put a cellphone on the surface and dragged several photos to it — just like that, the pictures uploaded to the phone. It was like a magic trick. He was dragging and dropping virtual content to physical objects. I'm not often surprised by new technology, but I can honestly say I'd never seen anything like it.

The name Surface comes from "surface computing," and Microsoft envisions the coffee-table machine as the first of many such devices. Surface computing uses a blend of wireless protocols, special machine-readable tags and shape recognition to seamlessly merge the real and the virtual world — an idea the Milan team refers to as "blended reality." The table can be built with a variety of wireless transceivers, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and (eventually) radio frequency identification (RFID) and is designed to sync instantly with any device that touches its surface.

One of the key components of surface computing is a "multitouch" screen. It is an idea that has been floating around the research community since the 1980s and is swiftly becoming a hip new product interface — Apple's new iPhone has multitouch scrolling and picture manipulation. Multitouch devices accept input from multiple fingers and multiple users simultaneously, allowing for complex gestures, including grabbing, stretching, swiveling and sliding virtual objects across the table. And the Surface has the added advantage of a horizontal screen, so several people can gather around and use it together. Its interface is the exact opposite of the personal computer: cooperative, hands-on, and designed for public spaces.

If it seems as though the Surface machine sprang up out of nowhere, that's only because Microsoft has been unusually secretive about it. Early designs of the table were displayed around the room as evidence of the product's long development cycle; rejected shapes included "squashed white egg" and "podium." Steven Bathiche, research manager for the project, has been involved since the beginning (in 2001) when he and fellow researcher Andy Wilson first dreamed up the idea of a tabletop computer. Bathiche spoke about the Milan project's evolution with the evident excitement of a man who's had to keep the most important thing he's ever done a secret for six years. "We've gone through several generations of this machine," he said. "The first was a proof-of-concept called T1, and we just hacked it into an IKEA table."

And there it was, partially disassembled, behind me. It looked as if they had attacked the prefab particleboard furniture from the Swedish superstore with a Sawzall, then stuffed in off-the-shelf computer parts, cameras, projectors and mirrors until it all worked. The idea went straight to the top: Once Bill Gates okayed it, surface computing moved from a heady research project to the nuts-and-bolts planning of product development.
After you see the Surface in action, it doesn't take long to figure out just how attractive such a machine must be to the retail and service industries. Microsoft has partnered up with cellular provider T-Mobile, as well as hotel conglomerate Starwood Hotels and Resorts (which owns Sheraton, Westin and W Hotels, among others) and Vegas casino giant Harrah's Entertainment. Machines will be ready for deployment by the end of 2007.

So you could, for instance, walk into a T-Mobile store, pick up a phone you're considering buying and place it on the Surface. The table could then either link with the phone via Bluetooth or scan a code imprinted on the packaging to identify it. Suddenly, the phone is surrounded by graphical information (pricing, features, etc.). After selecting a service plan and any accessories, you just run your credit card through a reader built into the table (or, when RFID cards have become the norm, just slap your card on the tabletop) and your new phone is paid for. By the time you open the package, everything is set up — all without talking to a single employee.

It's easy to dismiss the concept as pure novelty — and at first it may well be. But ask yourself: When was the last time you made a bank withdrawal from a human teller? The Surface machine is networked and infinitely flexible. You could use it to order food in a restaurant. While you wait, you could play games or surf the Internet, and then eat off its surface. And every table in the joint could be a jukebox, a television or a billboard for advertising. (You didn't think advertisers would miss out on this, did you?)

And once you've gotten used to ordering calamari through a tabletop at your favorite eatery, you may want to use it to call up recipes on your kitchen counter. Surface machines will cost $5000 to $10,000 at launch, but as prices fall, similar devices may find their way into the home. "We view its migration as similar to that of plasma TVs," says Pete Thompson, Microsoft's general manager for surface computing. "People will see it in public spaces like bars and restaurants and want to expand it into other environments." Its current coffee-table shape could evolve into a Pottery Barn-style catalog of computerized furniture — a dining room table, a wall-mounted panel, a desk or practically any surface. "It's a platform that can be put into various form factors," Thompson says. "This is a way to put technology into a piece of wood."

Computer scientists see technologies such as surface computing and multitouch as the key to a new era of ubiquitous computing, where processing power is embedded in almost every object and everything is interactive. Last year, New York University professor Jeff Han launched a company called Perceptive Pixel, which builds six-figure-plus custom multitouch drafting tables and enormous interactive wall displays for large corporations and military situation rooms. "I firmly believe that in the near future, we will have wallpaper displays in every hallway, in every desk. Every surface will be a point of interaction with a computer," Han says, "and for that to happen, we really need interfaces like this."

Short-term success for a technology can be measured by how much attention a product gathers when it is new. Long-term success is measured by how effectively that product disappears into the everyday routine of life. Surface computing has enormous potential to do both — it is a splashy new computer interface, surrounded by hype, but it is also, quite literally, furniture. It is a technology in its infancy, where even the engineers behind it can't predict its full impact; but the possibilities are everywhere, underhand and underfoot — on every surface imaginable.


___

For the tl;dr crowd, Microsoft announced a new product that they're currently calling Surface. It's essentially a multi-touch PC, but no mouse, keyboard, trackpad, or any obvious peripheral ports. Gonna use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and eventually RFID to interface with other items. Gonna cost 5k-10k US dollars at first, mostly a retail/commercial product. The link has a few vids and demos of Microsoft's Surface.

Hmm, think thats it for the moment. Did I miss anything?

naengwen on
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Posts

  • JustinChar99JustinChar99 Registered User
    edited May 2007
    I haven't looked at the videos yet, but wasn't there a video going around quite a while ago of someone playing Warcraft III on a machine very similar to this?

    blindjustus.gif
    Spoiler:
  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Computer as an appliance with an intuitive interface? Yes please.

    Didn't Gates show something similar off a few years ago at some keynote or another?

    snm_sig.jpg
  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited May 2007
    I'd buy one at five grand. Mmmm, homebrew.

    Note that they said five thousand dollars, not five thousand quid. Big difference ;)

  • PharezonPharezon Struggle is an illusion. Victory is in the Qun.Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Morskittar wrote: »
    Computer as an appliance with an intuitive interface? Yes please.

    Didn't Gates show something similar off a few years ago at some keynote or another?

    He did. It was showing off how it'd be in airports and every day places soon. This really cool to see happen.

    jkZziGc.png
  • naengwennaengwen Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    zilo wrote: »
    I'd buy one at five grand. Mmmm, homebrew.

    Note that they said five thousand dollars, not five thousand quid. Big difference ;)

    Blech, guess i'm used to saying quid. One sec, i'll fix it.

    Didn't Gates show something similar off a few years ago at some keynote or another?

    Hmm, was it Gates? I figured it was a random tech demo by a certain university. Ah well, I guess it would explain the similar interface...

    VQnLrrE.jpg
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    This sounds a lot like how I envision the future. This sounds cool.

  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I cant see a coffee table changing anything but my decor, no matter how fancy

    tf2sig.jpg
    TF2 - Wren BF3: Wren-fu
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Wren wrote: »
    I cant see a coffee table changing anything but my decor, no matter how fancy

    Just because they announced it as a coffee table doesn't mean it's limited to a coffee table. Imagine this technology built into every device, every wall, every piece of furniture. Imagine EVERYTHING in your house being made out of this shit.

    Suddenly it seems a lot more revolutionary, huh?

  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    not really. we have enough trouble just getting basic lighting and plumbing into the homes of most of the world.

    tf2sig.jpg
    TF2 - Wren BF3: Wren-fu
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    But, I like keyboards.......

    Touchscreens have their place and all but for sheer information from my brain to the computer speed nothing beats a keyboard.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Wren wrote: »
    not really. we have enough trouble just getting basic lighting and plumbing into the homes of most of the world.

    The computer wasn't revolutionary because not everyone has them.

  • JCRooksJCRooks Registered User
    edited May 2007
    I've seen this in-person several times (yes, I work in MS). It's definitely very cool, and there's no doubt about it when you see someone demo it, or play with it, etc. But how it's actually going to make lots o' money still remains to be seen, especially since it's so expensive. It makes sense, though, that the first customers are going to be businesses and not regular consumers. (We were joking at some point that the only buyers would be other Microsofties)

    Xbox LIVE, Steam, Twitter, etc. ...
    Spoiler:
  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    IT WILL BE MINE!

  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    But, I like keyboards.......

    Touchscreens have their place and all but for sheer information from my brain to the computer speed nothing beats a keyboard.

    Technophobes used to say that about the mouse too.

    If it came with a good SDK, embedded printer/scanner, and wireless NIC I'd buy one right now.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    JCRooks wrote: »
    I've seen this in-person several times (yes, I work in MS). It's definitely very cool, and there's no doubt about it when you see someone demo it, or play with it, etc. But how it's actually going to make lots o' money still remains to be seen, especially since it's so expensive. It makes sense, though, that the first customers are going to be businesses and not regular consumers. (We were joking at some point that the only buyers would be other Microsofties)

    License out the technology to furniture makers?

  • naengwennaengwen Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I can see where TSR's coming from. My only qualm with the announcement, i'm not sure if Microsoft is gonna be the company to bring this into the mainstream. What would be really awesome, though: this technology combined with Sony's recently unveiled flexi-OLED tech. I'm thinking PCs you could carry around like a newspaper, or a magazine.

    VQnLrrE.jpg
  • CyrixdCyrixd Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Wren wrote: »
    not really. we have enough trouble just getting basic lighting and plumbing into the homes of most of the world.

    The computer wasn't revolutionary because not everyone has them.

    I think that's an important point to keep in mind, especially to the post above me. The Surface should experience a similiar launch and life cycle of the computer (atleast that's how I'm understand it). It'll start expensive and only to businesses, meaning we won't see it being quite 'revolutionary' for every consumer just yet. But as it makes it's way into more retail outlets and corporate offices, its effects should be quite enormous.

    I'm very intrigued by this; it feels like we're at the birth of the next big technological advancement. I probably just got caught up in the multi-touch smoothness of the video, which I highly recommend everone watch.

    Nintendo ID/PSN: CyrixD
    SteamID: FronWewq
    Battle.net: Orange#1845
    3DS Friend Code: 1289-9498-5797
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Cyrixd wrote: »
    Wren wrote: »
    not really. we have enough trouble just getting basic lighting and plumbing into the homes of most of the world.

    The computer wasn't revolutionary because not everyone has them.

    I think that's an important point to keep in mind, especially to the post above me. The Surface should experience a similiar launch and life cycle of the computer (atleast that's how I'm understand it). It'll start expensive and only to businesses, meaning we won't see it being quite 'revolutionary' for every consumer just yet. But as it makes it's way into more retail outlets and corporate offices, its effects should be quite enormous.

    I'm very intrigued by this; it feels like we're at the birth of the next big technological advancement. I probably just got caught up in the multi-touch smoothness of the video, which I highly recommend everone watch.

    Exactly, sweeping revolution is slow, not fast. The first computers were giant mainframes that cost thousands of dollars. No everyone could afford one. Not everyone could even afford a TV. They were also limited. Yet, here we are, some 60 years after eniac, and the computer has revolutionized the world. I'm not expecting this table device to change the world tomorrow. But it's a very real possibility that in 50 years, every piece of furniture in the world could be using these. Especially if we perfect wireless energy.

  • chickenmaniachickenmania Registered User
    edited May 2007
    omg.

    This is the future. It's finally here.

    The future is finally here.

    Nerds.
  • KrizKriz Registered User
    edited May 2007
    a coffee table computer with information about coffee tables.

  • AdrienAdrien Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Exactly, sweeping revolution is slow, not fast. The first computers were giant mainframes that cost thousands of dollars. No everyone could afford one. Not everyone could even afford a TV. They were also limited. Yet, here we are, some 60 years after eniac, and the computer has revolutionized the world. I'm not expecting this table device to change the world tomorrow. But it's a very real possibility that in 50 years, every piece of furniture in the world could be using these. Especially if we perfect wireless energy.

    We have that.

    It's called an arc.

    tmkm.jpg
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I'm definitely intrigued by this approach to computing. I knew that touch based was going to be a big thing, but if this takes off, and like everyone said, is applied all over a household in the future....I'm very intrigued. The gamer part of me is kinda worried, unless we're talking about RTS games...I think that kinda interface would be absolute sex for a Supreme commander, starcraft 2 or other RTS game....actually give me that table with a starcraft 2 built for those kinda controls and I'll start drinking coffee.

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/aumni/ Battlenet: Aumni#1978 GW2: Aumni.1425
  • victor_c26victor_c26 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    JCRooks wrote: »
    I've seen this in-person several times (yes, I work in MS). It's definitely very cool, and there's no doubt about it when you see someone demo it, or play with it, etc. But how it's actually going to make lots o' money still remains to be seen, especially since it's so expensive. It makes sense, though, that the first customers are going to be businesses and not regular consumers. (We were joking at some point that the only buyers would be other Microsofties)

    Do you know how long they've been working on this?

    The internet's vomiting "olol iPhone copy!" :roll:

    And I'm definitely intrigued by the concept.

    steam_sig.png
    MK: DS Code: 528.341.706.032 - Import from Play-Asia PSN: VictorX10
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Adrien wrote: »
    Exactly, sweeping revolution is slow, not fast. The first computers were giant mainframes that cost thousands of dollars. No everyone could afford one. Not everyone could even afford a TV. They were also limited. Yet, here we are, some 60 years after eniac, and the computer has revolutionized the world. I'm not expecting this table device to change the world tomorrow. But it's a very real possibility that in 50 years, every piece of furniture in the world could be using these. Especially if we perfect wireless energy.

    We have that.

    It's called an arc.

    Yeah, I know we have wireless energy. Hence why I said "perfect."

  • MorskittarMorskittar Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    victor_c26 wrote: »
    JCRooks wrote: »
    I've seen this in-person several times (yes, I work in MS). It's definitely very cool, and there's no doubt about it when you see someone demo it, or play with it, etc. But how it's actually going to make lots o' money still remains to be seen, especially since it's so expensive. It makes sense, though, that the first customers are going to be businesses and not regular consumers. (We were joking at some point that the only buyers would be other Microsofties)

    Do you know how long they've been working on this?

    The internet's vomiting "olol iPhone copy!" :roll:

    And I'm definitely intrigued by the concept.

    Unlike real life, the internet often makes morons more apparent right out of the gate. This is a good thing.

    snm_sig.jpg
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Aumni wrote: »
    I'm definitely intrigued by this approach to computing. I knew that touch based was going to be a big thing, but if this takes off, and like everyone said, is applied all over a household in the future....I'm very intrigued. The gamer part of me is kinda worried, unless we're talking about RTS games...I think that kinda interface would be absolute sex for a Supreme commander, starcraft 2 or other RTS game....actually give me that table with a starcraft 2 built for those kinda controls and I'll start drinking coffee.

    Ever heard of the DS?

  • BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    wait a minute... i saw this like 2-3 years ago and it was not microsoft?


    most recent vid i could find?
    http://mrl.nyu.edu/~jhan/ftirtouch/multitouchreel.mp4

  • Aaron LeeAaron Lee Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    But, I like keyboards.......

    Touchscreens have their place and all but for sheer information from my brain to the computer speed nothing beats a keyboard.

    A video of this type of computer I saw a year or so ago, the guy touched an icon and brought up a digital keyboard that functioned as fast and efficiently as a real one, and the ease in which you could pop it up when needed and make is disappear when not was amazing. Granted, you don't get the tactile feel of a real keyboard (if that's what you were going for) but keyboards as a function likely won't be going away anytime soon.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Aaron Lee wrote: »
    Blaket wrote: »
    But, I like keyboards.......

    Touchscreens have their place and all but for sheer information from my brain to the computer speed nothing beats a keyboard.

    A video of this type of computer I saw a year or so ago, the guy touched an icon and brought up a digital keyboard that functioned as fast and efficiently as a real one, and the ease in which you could pop it up when needed and make is disappear when not was amazing. Granted, you don't get the tactile feel of a real keyboard (if that's what you were going for) but keyboards as a function likely won't be going away anytime soon.

    There are touchscreen cell phones in japan that provide tactile feedback. Using motors, and your brain's ability to connect the dots, they've achieved touch screen buttons that, when pressed, feel like an actual key being pressed.

  • Mammy Two-ShoesMammy Two-Shoes Registered User
    edited May 2007
    JCRooks wrote: »
    I've seen this in-person several times (yes, I work in MS). It's definitely very cool, and there's no doubt about it when you see someone demo it, or play with it, etc. But how it's actually going to make lots o' money still remains to be seen, especially since it's so expensive. It makes sense, though, that the first customers are going to be businesses and not regular consumers. (We were joking at some point that the only buyers would be other Microsofties)
    I'm not sold on a lot of the benefits of this to regular consumers were it to become more common and not just a novelty in casinos/store fronts. Linking wirelessly with devices or scanning credit cards/documents is something that could be further refined and made easier for existing PCs. Outside of using touch instead of a mouse, I'm not getting it just now. We need to see applications outside photo manipulation and "cocktail glass recognition software" (Codename: Coaster) to make the in-home benefits of this apparent.

  • ThreepioThreepio New Westminster, BCRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.

    They need to solve the backache/arm fatigue issue associated with this. I do not want to hunch over my screen, and though I hit the gym every night, the thought of a WoW raid with my arms out in front of me multitouching my way through The Gilded Towers of Latest Patch doesn't appeal to me at all.

    Great idea - make it practical for everyday use and less than $599 US DOLLARS and you got a deal.

    142.jpg
  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    As soon as I read the first few sentences, my mind immediately went to this.

    pac-finish.jpg

    Now there's a coffee table I'd love to have in my house.

    "The sausage of Green Earth explodes with flavor like the cannon of culinary delight."
    PSN: TheWolfman64 3DS/Pokemon Y: 0774-4614-4065 (Trainer name Christopher)
  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Threepio wrote: »
    No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.

    :^:

    I love this concept. Year after year people have predicted computerised surfaces around the home, but oh my god, it's here! It's finally here! :D

  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive Damn these electric sex pants! Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Threepio wrote: »
    They need to solve the backache/arm fatigue issue associated with this. I do not want to hunch over my screen, and though I hit the gym every night, the thought of a WoW raid with my arms out in front of me multitouching my way through The Gilded Towers of Latest Patch doesn't appeal to me at all.

    I think the table setup is more for the public space model; hopefully they'll bring out a version that's like an easel or architect's desk. Of course, it's all academic at the moment.

    Another successful post, thanks to the power of Spacestar Ordering™!
  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited May 2007
    Threepio wrote: »
    No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.

    They need to solve the backache/arm fatigue issue associated with this. I do not want to hunch over my screen, and though I hit the gym every night, the thought of a WoW raid with my arms out in front of me multitouching my way through The Gilded Towers of Latest Patch doesn't appeal to me at all.

    Great idea - make it practical for everyday use and less than $599 US DOLLARS and you got a deal.

    If you're kidding- hi5.

    If you're not (I honestly can't tell, especially with the lolps3 price quote)- well, it's not for you. These types of convergence products aren't meant to replace PCs entirely, nor are they meant for long-session gaming.

    Although, multitouch technology in a tablet format would be great fun.

  • JCRooksJCRooks Registered User
    edited May 2007
    victor_c26 wrote: »
    JCRooks wrote: »
    I've seen this in-person several times (yes, I work in MS). It's definitely very cool, and there's no doubt about it when you see someone demo it, or play with it, etc. But how it's actually going to make lots o' money still remains to be seen, especially since it's so expensive. It makes sense, though, that the first customers are going to be businesses and not regular consumers. (We were joking at some point that the only buyers would be other Microsofties)

    Do you know how long they've been working on this?

    The internet's vomiting "olol iPhone copy!" :roll:

    And I'm definitely intrigued by the concept.

    It's been around in some form for at least a few years. I don't know how long exactly. The articles say that various technology demos have been shown at previous events, and I can attest to that. (MS Research holds a tech fest every year, and it's always full of cool stuff like that)

    The group that works on this is actually one floor above me. I know people that have gone to that group, or moved downstairs to ours. It's pretty cool stuff, although definitely "far out there".

    Xbox LIVE, Steam, Twitter, etc. ...
    Spoiler:
  • ihdihd Registered User
    edited May 2007
    This is really fucking cool.

    There was a similar, not quite so flash demo of Microsoft's multi-touch technology a few weeks ago:

    "I brought a desk with me, it's really cool."

    Oh, and in before the LOL MICROSOFT CAN'T INNOVATE LOL. What are they to say now?

  • RMH03RMH03 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I hate to put a downer on things and don't get me wrong i love the future and all but...

    What happens when i spill my coffee

  • CarnivoreCarnivore Registered User
    edited May 2007
    This is the future right here.

    hihi.jpg
  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    RMH03 wrote: »
    I hate to put a downer on things and don't get me wrong i love the future and all but...

    What happens when i spill my coffee

    Then the glass/plastic surface gets wet. There's no direct touching with any electronic surface as it's all done with cameras and wireless.

    edit: I just imagined Clippy on this thing.
    "You seem to have spilled your coffee. Would you like to search for paper towel prices?"
    "You appear to be having a pissup. Would you like me to search for taxi services?"
    "You seem to be trying to commit suicide. I can help. Type your suicide note below for me to display."
    "You appear to be dead. Press "call for ambulance" to send an automated call to emergency services."
    "You appear to be writing revolutionary material. To help, I have phoned the CIA and local police services."

    "Open the family pictures HAL."
    "I am sorry, I cannot let you do that."

«1345
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