The multi-touch technology that Apple pioneered with its iPhone is now everywhere in the modern world – but Microsoft is about to pump up the technology to a new level.
The next generation of its ‘Surface’ table is a 40-inch touchscreen that can feel 50 ‘touches’ at once – and can also ‘feel’ pens, pointers or anything else placed on the table. Screens on gizmos such as iPhone can only feel fingers. The Full HD screen has a high-powered Windows PC built in – and is just four inches thick.
The Surface touchscreen is just four inches thick – it can be used in ‘table’ format, or even hung on the wall like a painting
The screen works by shining light upwards through the screen, which bounces back to a layer of sensors behind the screen. It can detect not only fingers but objects on the table – whereas other touchscreen technologies are limited in what they can detect.
For instance, touching an iPhone screen with a pen will have no effect. With that in mind, the tablet ships with apps allowing children to paint or draw directly on screen – or even edit photos and upload them to Facebook.
Microsoft’s previous Surface table was a bit of a cheat – the surface was semi-transparent, and touch was detected by cameras underneath the table. The result was that displays using Surface looked a little washed-out – and the table wasn’t as responsive as multi-touch touchscreens.
At CES 2011, Microsoft unveiled the next generation of the Microsoft Surface experience featuring PixelSense™ technology, which gives LCD panels the power to see without the use of cameras.
The screen can hang on a wall, be built into a wall, or comes with standard leg supports.If that doesn’t fit with your home, you can choose your own legs. The gizmo was named a 2011 ‘Best of What’s New’ award winner by Popular Science magazine.
The Surface SUR40 is available for pre-order now for £7499.