Surface computing is the term for the use of a specializedcomputer GUIin which traditional GUIelements are replaced by intuitive, everyday objects. Instead of akeyboardandmouse, the user interacts directly with atouch-sensitive screen. It has been said that this more closely replicatesthe familiar hands-on experience of everyday object manipulation.Surface computing is slowly starting to catch on and is starting to be used in real worldapplications. Here is just a sample of what surface computing technologies have been used.
TheMicrosoft Surfaceis starting to pick up popularity and has been used in various places andvenues.AT&Tbecame the first retailer to use Surface to help their customers purchase phones.Customers could place the phones on the Surface and receive full phone specs, as well as pricing.It has also been used in a wide variety of locations which include hotel lobbies, such as SheratonHotels, as well as venues which included Super Bowl XLIII to help police organize and monitor the event in great detail. It is also starting to gain use in the broadcasting industry and has beenused byMSNBCduring the2008 US Presidential Elections. However, USD $15,500 (deviceonly) is still considered expensive for most businesses.There are other new surface computing applications that are still being developed, one of whichis from theMIT Media Labwhere students are developing wearable computing systems that canbe used on almost any surface. The name of this device isSixth Sense.A
is acomputer that interacts with the user through the surface of an ordinaryobject, rather than through a monitor and keyboard.The category was created byMicrosoftwithSurface(codenamed Milan), the surface computer fromMicrosoftwhich was based entirely on aMulti-Touchinterface and using a coffee-table likedesign, and was unveiled on 30 May 2007. Users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by setting real-world items tagged with special bar-code labels on top of it.The Surface is a horizontal display on a table-like form. Somewhat similar to theiPhone, theSurface has a screen that can incorporate multiple touches and thus uses them to navigatemultimedia content. Unlike the iPhone, which uses fingers' electrical properties to detect touch,the Surface utilizes a system of infrared cameras to detect input. Uploading digital files onlyrequires each object (e.g. a Bluetooth-enabled digital camera) to be placed on the Surface