Surface Tunnels

Published 11 years, 4 months ago

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.


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

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

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

  5. Who’s complaining, Mark?

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

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

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

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

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

    Microsoft Waxes Nostalgic With ‘Pac-Man’ Update

    :-)

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

  20. Wow, impressive !

  21. 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. […] 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 […]

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