meyerweb.com

Skip to: site navigation/presentation
Skip to: Thoughts From Eric

Surface Tunnels

So Microsoft announced a touch-surface interactive computing device called “Microsoft Surface“—gee, now there’s a creative name!—and practically everyone in the known universe has gone crazy over it.  Eh, I don’t know.  I might be interested, but only if they can get the proper environment running on it, as pictured here.

A picture of a Microsoft Surface unit with Ms. Pac-Man Photoshopped onto the display area, thus recalling the tabletop Ms. Pac-Man arcade games of yore.

Oh, c’mon.  You know it’s the first thing you thought of too.

22 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 0835
    Greg Raven wrote in to say...

    Actually, the first thing I thought of was that this thing would eventually scan you and everything you’re carrying when in kiosk mode for a hotel or restaurant, so all your credit card information would be available to any hacker in the neighborhood. The first thing my wife thought of was that the Surface was going to beam all your personal information back to Microsoft.

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 0838
    Simon Jessey wrote in to say...

    Actually, my first thought was miniature air hockey. My second thought was that it wouldn’t support CSS3.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 0838
    Mark Hatham wrote in to say...

    Microsoft Surface is better than Google freakin Gears.
    Did you complain about that too?

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 0925
    Shaun Inman wrote in to say...

    Haha, exactly. Alternate title for this post, “MS Pacman.”

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 0950
    Eric Meyer wrote in to say...

    Who’s complaining, Mark?

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 1111
    thacker wrote in to say...

    Hmmm. When is hasTouch true or false on this damn thing?

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 1122
    Eric Mattison wrote in to say...

    Actually, my initial thought was, “When the system hangs because I’m running too many applications, will Microsoft Surface be able to withstand the impact when I slam my fists down on it in frustration?”

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 1314
    Adam wrote in to say...

    I almost thought of that when i saw the demo Eric, but i was thinking more of asteroids. :-)

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 1514
    Chris wrote in to say...

    Eric, I think that’s the file manager. :)

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 1630
    David Mead wrote in to say...

    I saw it on the TODAY show and it looked ok. The touch sensitive seems a lot like the work I saw @ SXSW from Mine Control.

    Jeff Han (who had the cool Minority Report-esque screens) spun his idea off into a company. That was in Jan “07 and it still looks better than the MS one :-)

    I can see MS’s approach to retail being a good one, but it’s big, clunky and typing on a flat glass surface will destroy your fingers :-)

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 2031
    Vaspers the Grate aka Steven E. Streight wrote in to say...

    Surface Computing is an old idea, and Jeff Hans of Perceptive Pixel has already done a lot of work on this. The iPhone app seems gimmicky.

    I seem to recall a Sony video on YouTube about 2 – 3 years ago that demonstrated multi-touch interfaces and sliding transparent squares around on a table as a form of file management and functionality configuration.

    And even some interactive fish. I wish I would have Favorited those videos, difficult to find again now.

    Sidenote: They don’t seem to be teaching CSS or cross browser compatibility very well, in university web design courses.

    • #12
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 2032
    Vaspers the Grate aka Steven E. Streight wrote in to say...

    BTW, Mark Hatham appears to be an anonymous internet troll. Leaving gmail dot com as his URL. What a jerk.

    • #13
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 2056
    Vaspers the Grate aka Steven E. Streight wrote in to say...

    Sorry about multiple comments, but you Twittered about Technorati widget not working, slowing site speed. Technorati Twittered today about a BigIP failure, still working on it.

    twitter.com/vaspers

    • #14
    • Comment
    • Wed 6 Jun 2007
    • 0134
    Ben Buchanan wrote in to say...

    To be honest, the first thing I thought was “hmm, didn’t I see some uni doing that ages ago?”.

    Then I thought, “looks nifty but fraught with problems”. Then someone told me that half the features are vapourware anyway – they don’t even have a proof of concept for the credit card thing, it’s just a “funky idea”. This is of course hearsay and people should not believe or sue me for saying it :)

    Then I thought “it’s a big tablet/touch screen” which led to “hey, Puzzle Bobble would rock!” :)

    • #15
    • Comment
    • Wed 6 Jun 2007
    • 0200
    Frederick Townes wrote in to say...

    My first thought was, hmmm, Minority Report (2002) – where John Anderton (Tom Crusise) is using special gloves and huge transparent display to “scrub” video content or how about The Island (2005). Truly loved seeing xbox live be physical and Merrick (Sean Bean) was using surface during his one-on-one session with Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor). I really enjoyed that film – great example of “suspension of disbelief”. (Gotta love IMDb). Anyway, “surface” is long overdue.

    • #16
    • Comment
    • Wed 6 Jun 2007
    • 1204
    Adrian Lee wrote in to say...

    I thought Surface was a pretty good name for it actually, not a very typical MS name. At least they don’t just put a lower case ‘i’ in front of everything :)

    Would be great for alsorts of games like pacman :)
    If it could really connect up to phones and digital cameras like the videos suggest, that’s pretty awesome, I’ll wait till I see it in action for myself before deciding quite how cool it is though.

    • #17
    • Comment
    • Wed 6 Jun 2007
    • 1624
    Del Hager wrote in to say...

    Reality is better then fiction. How about black jack, roulette, dice, etc being the games of choice. Take a look at the the two biggest sponsors for Surface: Harrahs and IGT. Imagine what they are going to be using these tables for?

    • #18
    • Comment
    • Wed 6 Jun 2007
    • 1740
    Joe Lewis wrote in to say...

    Hey looks like they’re ramping up for this on the software side:

    Microsoft Waxes Nostalgic With ‘Pac-Man’ Update

    :-)

    • #19
    • Pingback
    • Wed 6 Jun 2007
    • 2112
    Received from Subism » Blog Archive » ‘Surface’ reactions

    [...] Meyer NAILED my first thought about Microsoft’s new ‘Surface’ computing device. I watched all [...]

    • #20
    • Comment
    • Sat 9 Jun 2007
    • 1603
    k-ny wrote in to say...

    Wow, impressive !

    • #21
    • Comment
    • Sun 10 Jun 2007
    • 0344
    Stephen Donner wrote in to say...

    I actually thought first of Asteroids, rather than Pac-man, due to the fact that Asteroids as an arcade game was burned in memory from its days as the first game table I ever saw inside of Sears…

    • #22
    • Pingback
    • Sat 27 Oct 2007
    • 0519
    Received from Ghillie Suits » Surface Tunnels

    [...] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerpt Eric Meyer brings his ideas on Microsoft Surface on the table. Saved By: Ianus Keller | View Details | Give Thanks Tags: fotofuck, surface, multitouch, interface, microsoft [...]

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address required but never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Remember to encode character entities if you're posting markup examples! Management reserves the right to edit or remove any comment—especially those that are abusive, irrelevant to the topic at hand, or made by anonymous posters—although honestly, most edits are a matter of fixing mangled markup. Thus the note about encoding your entities. If you're satisfied with what you've written, then go ahead...


June 2007
SMTWTFS
May July
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Sidestep

Feeds

Extras