Microsoft Surface Essay

Term Report Microsoft Surface Table Acknowledgements We would like to express our deepest appreciation for our professor, Dr. Michael Kamins. It would have been practically impossible for us to pursue this project without his invaluable advice and guidance. We would also like to thank our classmates for encouraging us during our presentation and providing great advice to improve our project. We would also like to thank the Stony Brook College of Business for allowing us to use the college facilities. Finally, we also extend our heartfelt thanks to our family and well-wishers.Contents Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………1-4 History …………………………………………………………………………………………………2-5 Application……………………………………………………………………………………………. 3-6 4 Ps 4.

1 Product……………………………………………………………………………4-12 4. 2 Price………………………………………………………………………………. 4-14 4. 3 Place………………………………………………………………………………4-15 4. 4 Promotion…….

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4-16 4 Cs 5. 1 Consumer…………………………………………………………………………5-17 5. 2 Competition ………………………………………………………………………5-18 5. 3 Community ……………………. …………………………………………………5-18 3. 4 Company..

. ………………………………………………………………………. -19 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………… 6-21 Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………………………7-22 Appendix _Appendix _I Microsoft Surface Table Order Form (U.

S. ) 1. Introduction: Over the past couple of years, a new class of interactive device has begun to emerge, what can best be described as “surface computing”. The Surface table typically incorporates a rear-projection display coupled with an optical system to capture touch points by detecting shadows from below. Different approaches to doing the detection have been used, but most employ some form of IR illumination coupled with IR cameras.With today’s camera and signal-processing capability, reliable responsive and accurate multi-touch capabilities can be achieved. Surface Table is a new way of working with computers that moves beyond the traditional mouse and keyboard experience. It is a natural user interface that allows people to interact with digital content the same way they have interacted with everyday items such as photos, paintbrushes and music their entire life: with their hands, with gestures and by putting real-world objects on the surface.

Surface Table opens up a completely new category of products for users to interact with. It is a completely intuitive and liberating way to interact with digital content. It blurs the lines between the physical and virtual worlds. By using your hands or placing other unique everyday objects on the surface – such as an item you are going to purchase at a retail store or a paint brush – you can interact with, share and collaborate like you’ve never done before.

Imagine you are out at a restaurant with friends and you each place your beverage on the table – and all kinds of information appears by your glass, such as wine pairings with a restaurant’s menu. Then, with the flick of your finger, you order dessert and split the bill. We really see this as broadening content opportunities and delivery systems.

Surface Table is a powerful movement. In fact, it is as significant as the move from DOS [Disk Operating System] to GUI [Graphic User Interface]. Our research shows that many people are intimidated and isolated by today’s technology.

Many features available in mobile phones, PCs and other electronic devices like digital cameras aren’t even used because the technology is intimidating. Surface Table breaks down those traditional barriers to technology so that people can interact with all kinds of digital content in a more intuitive, engaging and efficient manner. It’s about technology adapting to the user, rather than the user adapting to the technology. Bringing this kind of natural user interface innovation to the computing space is what Surface Table is all about. {draw:frame} Internal view of Surface Table *2.History*: Surface Table is a major advancement that moves beyond the traditional user interface to a more natural way of interacting with digital content. Microsoft Surface™, Microsoft Corp. ’s first commercially available surface computer, breaks down the traditional barriers between people and technology to provide effortless interaction with all forms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects instead of a mouse and keyboard.

The people will be able to interact with Surface in select restaurants, hotels, retail establishments and public entertainment.In 2001, Stevie Bathiche of Microsoft Hardware and Andy Wilson of Microsoft Research began working together on various projects that took advantage of their complementary expertise in the areas of hardware and software. In one of their regular brainstorm sessions, they started talking about an idea for an interactive table that could understand the manipulation of physical pieces. Although there were related efforts happening in academia, Bathiche and Wilson saw the need for a product where the interaction was richer and more intuitive, and at the same time practical for everyone to use.This conversation was the beginning of an idea that would later result in the development of Surface, and over the course of the following year, various people at Microsoft involved in developing new product concepts, including the gaming-specific Play Table, continued to think through the possibilities and feasibility of the project. Then in October 2001 a virtual team was formed to fully pursue bringing the idea to the next stage of development; Bathiche and Wilson were key members of the team.In early 2003, the team presented the idea to Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, in a group review.

Gates instantly liked the idea and encouraged the team to continue to develop their thinking. The virtual team expanded, and within a month, through constant discussion and brainstorming, the first humble prototype was born and nicknamed T1. The model was based on an IKEA table with a hole cut in the top and a sheet of architect vellum used as a diffuser. The evolution of Surface had begun. A variety of early applications were also built, including pinball, a photo browser and a video puzzle.

As more applications were developed, the team saw the value of the surface computer beyond simply gaming and began to favor those applications that took advantage of the unique ability of Surface to recognize physical objects placed on the table. The team was also beginning to realize that surface computing could be applied to a number of different embodiments and form factors. Over the next year, the team grew significantly, including the addition of Nigel Keam, initially software development lead and later rchitect for Surface, who was part of the development team eventually tasked with taking the product from prototype to a shipping product. Surface prototypes, functionality and applications were continually refined. More than 85 early prototypes were built for use by software developers, hardware developers and user researchers. One of the key attributes of Surface is object recognition and the ability of objects placed on the surface to trigger different types of digital responses, including the transfer of digital content.This feature went through numerous rounds of testing and refining.

At the same time, the original plan of using a single camera in the vision system was proving to be unreliable. After exploring a variety of options, including camera placement and different camera lens sizes, it was decided that Surface would use five cameras that would more accurately detect natural movements and gestures from the surface. 3. Applications: Water : Water is used as an “attract mode” for the Surface desktop, and it is certainly attractive.

The default background picture is an image of smooth pebbles that appear to sit beneath a thin layer of rippling water. By itself, the water moves as if it were being disturbed by a light breeze, but it is when you touch the screen that it becomes more interesting than just another screensaver. Tapping anywhere on the surface causes larger ripples to spread out from the point of contact. Many people can tap at the same time, making an effect similar to a rainstorm. But by far the most fun is when you sweep your whole hand across and cause waves to bounce back and forth.The physics of the water simulation is not perfect: the ripples never get above certain intensity, and there is no way to simulate diffraction. However, the overall effect is strangely compelling and is certainly a good way to introduce people to Surface.

One interesting feature of Water is that if you take any object (the team used a regular stove dial) and stick an identification sticker on the bottom, the program will switch background pictures whenever you turn the dial. {draw:frame} Video Puzzle: Video Puzzle showcases the power of the little identification tags mentioned above.The tags consist of a pattern of variously-sized dots; Keam mentioned that the dots currently represent an 8-bit code (256 permutations) but that 128-bit tags were in the works. The neat thing about the tags is that they can be very nearly transparent and the system will still pick them up.

Not only can the tags transmit numerical information, but the geometrical arrangement of the dots means that Surface can also tell, to a high degree of accuracy, how much the tag (and therefore the object) has rotated.In Video Puzzle, these virtually invisible tags are placed upon small squares of glass. When the pieces of glass are put on the table, the screen starts playing video clips underneath each one. Because the video moves whenever you move the squares, it creates the illusion that the glass itself is displaying the video, which looks very futuristic. As you move the squares around, you quickly realize that the video clips are all pieces of a larger video. Flipping the glass squares over inverts the video playing underneath, making completing the puzzle even more of a challenge.

When you complete the puzzle correctly, the system senses the achievement, congratulates you, and shows you the time taken to finish. According to Mark Bolger, the current record for finishing when the pieces are fully randomized is 1 minute and 53 seconds. On my first attempt, I finished in just over 2 minutes, but the squares were all right side up to begin with (Microsoft is nice to journalists, it seems). {draw:frame} Paint: Paint programs have been a natural demonstration application for new platforms ever since MacPaint graced the first Macintosh back in 1984.Surface’s paint program is even lighter on features than MacPaint was, but the natural user interface makes up for this deficiency. There are three draw modes that can be toggled by touching an icon on the bottom of the toolbar: brush, paint, and reveal, the last of which is kind of a negative brush that shows a background bitmap underneath.

The brush mode is a bit spotty and tends to skip, but the paint mode is smooth and fun. You can draw using one finger, all your fingers at once (good for drawing hair), the palm of your hand, or using any natural object such as a regular paintbrush.Using the program is like having a flashback to finger painting back in kindergarten (minus the mess), and certainly children will have tons of fun with this kind of application. That said, having this great touch interface absolutely cries out for a more full featured program, something that can mix colors (like Microsoft’s own paint program that comes with the Tablet PC version of Windows) and play around with textures and natural materials. I immediately thought of Fractal Design Painter and how much fun it would be with this interface.

Of course, real digital artists have been using advanced pressure Surface sensitive graphics tablets for years, and Surface is not aimed at replacing this kind of workflow. Still, a more full-featured Paint program would be nice to have, and Keam mentioned that the team is still deciding whether to add features to Paint or instead take an existing paint program and rework it for Surface. {draw:frame} Photos: Sharing photos is a much more unrestricted activity, thanks to the fact that the consumer is also the creator of the content, and the photo album application reflected this freedom.

By simply placing a Bluetooth-equipped digital camera on the tabletop, Surface was able to import the photos and place them in a pile on the screen, which Bolger verified by taking a picture of Cindy, my Microsoft PR contact who was sitting in the next chair. Most of the other photos were pictures of Microsoft employees’ children; Bolger joked that only the cutest kids were allowed to be put in the demonstration. Photos are arranged into albums that look like piles.

Tapping the pile once spreads it around the screen and from there you can drag, rotate, and resize the images to your heart’s content.Since Surface can detect many touches at the same time, multiple people can sort and resize pictures, which could potentially turn a tedious job into a fun family affair. The program can also apparently sort photos into stacks by using metadata tags, although I did not see this feature demonstrated. Not only pictures but full-motion videos can be viewed in this way; tapping the video once starts the playback, and it can be smoothly resized and rotated while it plays. {draw:frame} Casino: The Casino application was developed in cooperation with Harrah’s of Las Vegas and is a good example of how Surface can be used in a hospitality environment.The background image is a giant map of the hotel and casino, with all the attractions marked for further inspection. Hotel customers can place their card anywhere on the screen and reserve tickets to any of these shows.

The background map can be scrolled with a brush of the hand, and can be zoomed in and out by performing the two-finger pinch. {draw:frame} Dining : The application allows diners to preview the entire menu by choosing a category (drinks, appetizers, main courses, and so forth) and then scrolling left and right through the available options.Items can be dragged into a central “ordering area” and when everyone is satisfied with their choices, a single tap on the Order button sends the list out to the waiter.

This could potentially save service people huge chunks of time and would be very useful for busy restaurants. The software can display the daily specials, and for regular customers with their own identification cards, it could display a list of “favorites” to make ordering even easier. Combine this with entertainment activities for the kids (perhaps Paint? and you can see how many restaurants could view this as a compelling application. {draw:frame} *4. Four* Ps: *4. 1 * *Product*: Features Surface computing at Microsoft is an outgrowth of a collaborative effort between the Microsoft hardware and Microsoft research teams, which were struck by the opportunity to create technology that, would bridge the physical and virtual worlds. What started as a high level concept grew into a prototype and evolved to today’s market-ready products that will transform the way people, shop, entertain and live.

It is a major advancement that moves beyond the traditional user interface to a more natural way of interacting with information. Surface computing has the 4 major attributes: a) Direct Interaction: Customers will benefit from this product instantly. Interacting with the content is simple, natural, intuitive and fun. Users can actually grab digital information with their hands interacting with gestures and touch. b) Multi-Touch: This is another important feature in the product. It means that the product recognizes many contacts at the same ime; it’s not the same as other touch devices, which only recognize one finger contact at one time. Here the customers can use both hands to reach and interact with dozens of items at once.

c) Multi-User Experience: The 30-inch diagonal display and horizontal Microsoft surface creates a unique gathering place where multiple users can collaboratively interact with data and each other. D) Object Recognition: Microsoft can recognize what touches it and it has the capability to real world objects, providing the potential for a multitude of applications and transfer of information between devices.Specifications: Physical specifications: Including display and housing (L * W * H)= 42. 52721 inches or 1086954 cms Technical Specifications: 1) Type- 30 inch XGA DLP Projector 2) ATI X 1650 graphics card with 256 MB memory 3) Maximum Resolution: 1024 * 768 4) Lamp mean life expectancy: 6,000 + hours Input Devices: 1) Camera based vision system with LED infrared direct illumination 2) Bluetooth keyboard mouse (available to administrators only) 3) Ethernet port (Gigabit Ethernet card {10/100/1000} 4) External monitor port 5) Bays for routing cables 6) On/Standby power buttonWorking & Design: A) Working Microsoft surface uses camera to sense objects, hand gestures and touch. This user input is then processed and displayed using rear projections. Specifically: 1) Microsoft surface uses a rear projection system, which displays an image onto the underside of a thin diffuser. 2) Objects such as fingers are visible through the diffuser by series of infrared-sensitive cameras, positioned underneath the display.

3) An image processing system processes the camera images to detect fingers, custom tags and other objects such as paint brushes when touching display. ) The objects recognized with this system are reported to applications running in the computer so that they can react to the objects shapes, 2D tags, movements and touch. B) Design 1) Screen: A diffuser turns the table top into a large horizontal “multi-touch” screen, capable of processing multiple inputs from multiple users.

The surface can also recognize objects by their shapes or by reading coded “domino” tags. 2) Infrared: Surface’s “machine vision” operates in the near infrared spectrum, using a 850-nanometer wavelength LED light source aimed at the screen.When objects touch the tabletop, the light reflects back and is picked up by multiple infrared cameras with a net resolution of 1280 X 960.

3) System Unit: Surface uses the same components found in everyday desktop computers-a Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 256 MB graphics card. Wireless communication with devices on the surface are handled using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas (future versions may incorporate RFID or near field Communications). The OS is a specified version Microsoft Vista. 4) Projector: Microsoft uses the same DLP light engine found in many rear-projections HDTVs.The footprint of the visible light screen, at 1024 X 768 pixels, is actually smarter than the invisible overlapping infrared projections to allow for better recognition at the edges of the screen. *4. 2 *Price: Microsoft Surface Table is currently targeting only niche consumers.

They include mainly commercial enterprises like casinos, bars, restaurants, hotels, big retail stores and so on. That is why the Microsoft Surface table is priced between $10000 and $12000. We plan to make the surface table a more attractive purchase by offering customers discounts on bulk orders of the surface table.Microsoft is also contemplating the decision to provide heavy discount to AT for purchasing the surface table for its retail stores. As the surface table becomes more popular in casinos, bars, restaurants and hotels, Microsoft will increase production of the surface tables. This will result in the price of the surface table to plummet even further.

Currently the application running on the Microsoft Surface table can be customized to the needs of it consumers. This is one of major cause of the comparatively high price of the Surface Table.We recommend that Microsoft provide a standard version of the surface table with standard operating system running on it so that the product becomes more economically viable for small offices and households. In the meantime as the product is trying to create a niche market for itself it is made accessible to only select outlets like Sheraton hotels and Harrah’s Casinos like the Caesar’s Palace. *4.

3 *Place: The developer and the commercial version of the Microsoft surface table are currently available through online orders only.The developer units are made available to application developers for testing different applications on the surface table. Microsoft Surface table is available in all of the following regions for commercial and developing purposes: Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, UAE, Denmark, Norway, United Kingdom, France, Qatar and the United States of America. How to buy Microsoft Surface units? Step 1: You have to visit the following link: http://www. microsoft.

com/surface/pages/HowToBuy/HowToBuy. aspx Step 2:Then download the form related to your country. A sample order form for the United States is shown in the *App*endix I. Step 3: Fill up the form and then send it to [email protected] com or contact an existing Microsoft representative.

Distribution in the future: As the demand for Microsoft surface goes up, it could be made available through select electronic stores like BEST BUY and other online partners like newegg. com. 4.

4 Promotion: As seen in the previous sections the multi touch multi user surface computer can be used in a number of ways for a variety of different applications.We could promote the Microsoft surface table in the following ways: Surface Table at Bars, Restaurants and Casinos: Microsoft has already placed surface tables for use at the Caesar’s Palace, the Rio in Las Vegas, the Starwood Restaurants and the Sheraton Hotels. By installing only 6 surface tables at the Rio’s I Bar in Las Vegas the number of visits at the I-bar have already increased by 19%. Similarly Microsoft could target other high end restaurants and demonstrate the magic of the surface table and let the restaurants and hotels decide for themselves bout the effectiveness of its amazing product. Surface Table as part of movies and TV sitcoms: In order to make the surface table more popular among the masses, Microsoft could make surface table a part of the storyline in movies and TV sitcoms.

Popular TV sitcoms like ‘How I Met Your Mother’ have the characters spend a large amount of time at the bar. The Surface table could replace the normal table at the bar and its features could be demonstrated in the sitcom as part of the storyline.In addition, if the stars of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ start using the surface table, it could become very popular among the younger generation. Surface Table at Retail Stores: Currently the surface table can be seen at a few selected T mobile Stores. The surface table helps to make the features of a phone and a service more appealing and enticing for the customers. This would not only boost the sales of T-mobile but other retail stores would also want to have the surface table. {draw:frame}Advertisements on TV: We recommend that Microsoft start TV commercials for the surface table demonstrating the numerous applications of it.

We had designed three commercials, which highlighted three different features of the surface table. We could highlight the modern capabilities of the surface table by first showing the viewers the traditional ways of designing snowboards, ordering at restaurants and viewing pictures. We could then show them the surface (modern) way of carrying out the same activity.

We have showed all the three advertisements in our class presentation. . Four C’s 5. 1 Consumer: Microsoft Surface is redefining how customers get things done. Dining, shopping, playing and collaborating will never be the same again. Customers have more control and flexibility of their experience, which creates more opportunities and efficiencies for companies like yours.

Here’s just some of the ways Surface is helping companies today. Financial Services: Microsoft Surface can help replace complicated product descriptions with a dynamic and easy-to-use interface that is empowering and engaging.For example, an employee and customer may use Surface as their collaborative meeting space, reviewing portfolio options and creating a more personal and informed customer experience that drives higher customer loyalty, while improving brand image.

Health Care: Microsoft Surface can help improve the clinic and patient relationship. For example, patients can receive a better clinic experience by allowing self check-ins or researching and reviewing treatment options in collaboration with clinical staff.For clinicians, Microsoft Surface could be used as a smart white board for the emergency room or medical center, helping teams collaborates on treatment options.

Retail Sector: Microsoft Surface can connect customers with more and richer product information and create collaborative sales engagements right inside retail outlets, connecting the physical store, sales staff and digital content. For example, Surface recognizes mobile devices, allowing customers to download product information, compare products, cross-sell related items, and select add-on features.Public Sector: Microsoft Surface creates a seamless way of connecting people with important and complex data. For example, security or emergency agencies can create a collaborative digital command center for planning and orchestrating large-scale events, with agency personnel working together with real time mapping and location data. Or educators can deploy Microsoft Surface in classroom settings to create an entirely new way to integrate rich and interactive digital content into the learning environment.

Hospitality: Microsoft Surface offers entirely new ways to inform and entertain customers, helping boost revenue without incurring higher staffing costs. For example, loyalty cards can be placed on Microsoft Surface to trigger purchases of a customer’s favorite drink or meal. Alternatively, companies could extend their digital marketing campaigns to include an onsite presence, with interactive content, games, and virtual tours. 5. 2 Competition: Displax- Interactive window made by Edigma with a 98% transparent screen which is touch sensitive and can be hung on any surface with a transparent glass or acrylic.

Sony in collaboration with Atracsys, a swiss company, are coming up with the AtracTable. It is a video based movement tracking system that gives real time interaction by continuous detection of fingers and object movements. These two products can be a real competition to the Microsoft Surface.

5. 3 Community: The marketing community, which can be affected by the launch of the Microsoft environment, can be classified into the following categories: Demographic Environment: The Microsoft Surface Table is designed in such a way that it can be used by people from all age groups.The powerful graphical user interface of the Surface Table enables the users to carry out complex functions with just the use of their hands without the need to use any input devices like the keyboard or the mouse.

Technological Environment: Surface table takes the touch technology to a completely new level allowing the users to give multiple touch inputs to the screen at the same time. The Surface Table also has the ability to process multiple inputs at the same time. Social and Cultural environment: The Microsoft Surface Table is developed keeping in mind the current trend.The trend is to move towards computing devices, which require touch inputs. As a result, the Surface Table is developed keeping in mind the current needs of the customer. *5. 4 Company*: It involves the SWOT analysis of a company.

SWOT analysis is the strategic planning method to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a company. Microsoft Corp. has been working on the concept of the surface computing for a number of years now. Following is the SWOT analysis of the company.

Strengths:Strengths are attributes of a company that help achieve the objectives Microsoft is a pioneer and market leader in this kind of technology. It is the first one to revolutionize the concept of Surface computing. Surface table is compatible with Windows Vista, which is the most popular OS. There are a number of applications that vista supports and that can be run on the Surface Table in a whole new way. For instance, games, music, video, entertainment, etc. Surface Table is the first type of computer that uses digital content in place of the conventional input devices such as the keyboard and the mouse.Weaknesses: Price is the biggest weakness of the surface table. Microsoft Surface is priced at around $10000-12000, which is a bit too expensive.

This factor might reduce the market share of the surface table. Microsoft Surface requires dim lighting to avoid washing out of its screen. The size of the Microsoft Surface is as good as a coffee table. This makes it quite inconvenient to transport it from one destination to the other. In other words, it is not extremely portable. Microsoft Surface is tailored for high-end clients and niche customers. It is not readily available for individual consumer purchase.

Opportunities: Microsoft Surface allows better interface due to its easy to handle touch surface. For instance, in Retail, customers can easily design a living room or a kitchen with just a touch of finger and see an instant image of it. Education wise, Surface table can be a teacher’s assistant and assist teachers during classroom discussion. This would give the students a complete new way of learning. Microsoft Surface also finds application in: Hospitality Finance Public Sector Health Care Threats: Apple and IBM threaten Microsoft’s 88% market share of the computer operating market.

Currency exchange rates affect demand for Surface Table and fluctuating currencies can negatively affect revenues in the global marketplace. Other manufacturers (such as Sony, AtracSys) are issuing their own pre-bundled programs on their own hardware. Recession or economic slowdown in the U. S. or global market affects Surface Table equipment sales. Technology life cycle is shorter and shorter. Conclusion Thus, we can conclude by saying that the Microsoft Surface Table is an extremely novel product with many possible applications. The Surface Table could replace the canvass of the painter or the tools of a sculptor.

In short, it could revolutionize the way we carry out our simple day-to-day chores. If you needed an incentive to be creative then the surface table provides you with a ‘surface’ with almost magical capabilities. Finally, we would like to end on a beautiful quote by the chairman of the Microsoft Corporation. “It was my dream to have a computer on every desktop……. And Now Every Desktop is a Computer!!! ” -Bill Gates Bibliography wikipedia. com microsoft. com/surface google. com technabob.

com infoworld. com youtube. com 7. aboutmicrosoftsurface. com Appendix I Microsoft Surface Order Form (U. S) {draw:frame} {draw:frame}