Is the Next-Gen Microsoft Surface Ready for Design Engineering?
After a year-long wait, the next generation of Microsoft’s Surface large format touch interface can now be pre-ordered through Samsung resellers in 23 countries (including the U.S.). The Samsung SUR40, which can be used as a table or mounted on a wall, is being touted for auto, education, healthcare, retail and other applications, and should be available early in 2012.
The Samsung units are selling for somewhere in the neighborhood of $11,000 (other outlets are quoting a price of $8,400), so don’t expect consumers to rush out and buy one anytime soon. However, a large-screen multi-touch surface could have significant utility in the design world. Large enterprises are, in fact, the initial target market, with Dassault Aviation, Fujifilm, and a few other companies planning on deploying the devices.
The SUR40 (which runs Windows 7 in addition to Surface 2.0) has a 40-in. screen, and is just a few inches thick. Surface has more than 50 simultaneous touchpoints enabled by the company’s PixelSense technology.
The blogosphere has not exactly been enthusiastic about Surface (which is often referred to as the “Microsoft Coffee Table”), pointing out that Microsoft aimed too low with its marketing, which resulted in the initial products primarily landing in casinos. Microsoft is still working on new ways to present touch computing (like the one we covered here), so a killer app for Surface (or something like it) may yet emerge.
What do you think? Is it time to hit up your company’s keeper of the engineering computing purse strings, or is Surface destined for a life of neat but not essential technology?
You can see a demo of Surface 2.0 from CES 2011 below: