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Bog
05-30-2007, 04:37 AM
http://www.microsoft.com/surface/

From, er, Microsoft (not really the people you'd expect it from).

A free doughnut to the first person to video themselves playing with LightWave on one of these! And a lolly to the first person running ZBrush on one...

Iain
05-30-2007, 04:51 AM
I've seen this before but not as slick and well presented as that.

That's the future-all we need now are some psychics to float around in a wee pool and we'll be free of crime.
Yisssss!
:dance:

Sarford
05-30-2007, 05:19 AM
Hmm, the link doesn't work on a mac, guess they don't even bother to try and win over some mac users. Ok then, if thats the way you want it .... ;)

Weepul
05-30-2007, 05:26 AM
Hmm, the link doesn't work on a mac, guess they don't even bother to try and win over some mac users. Ok then, if thats the way you want it .... ;)
It worked here.

Bytehawk
05-30-2007, 05:58 AM
they sound very optimistic and sure of themselves to be able to put these in homes, shops....

Iain
05-30-2007, 06:00 AM
they sound very optimistic and sure of themselves to be able to put these in homes, shops....

I think they said that about the PC a few years ago. Fools!

hrgiger
05-30-2007, 06:34 AM
That looks completely wicked. Now we just need Newtek to support it. Touchscreen Lightwave, that would be nice.

As far as being sure of themselves, I don't see the surprise in the advertising. No company is going to put out an ad that says try our medioce product. We hope it gets into at least 10 or 15 homes and a couple shops.
But I don't doubt that it has a bright future.

And yeah Ian, I was kind of thinking of Minority Report a bit too...

oDDity
05-30-2007, 06:38 AM
It's kind of an extension of the wacom cintiq. I'd love one of those for sculpting, but they cost as much as a complete top end computer system.
I'm not sure what vaule there is in this extension though ,you really don't need to be able to drag you desktop icon around with your fingers. There's really no benefit.

jasonwestmas
05-30-2007, 08:03 AM
finally, something that's kind of innovative from MS. :P

SBowie
05-30-2007, 08:06 AM
finally, something that's kind of innovative from MS. :PErrr ... hmmmm ... well, uh -- except that many of us can remember the same thing from the original innovators, about a year ago...

jasonwestmas
05-30-2007, 08:11 AM
I haven't seen anything innovative from ms since 2000. ;) But hey, I'm just an artist.

Lightwolf
05-30-2007, 08:15 AM
Errr ... hmmmm ... well, uh -- except that many of us can remember the same thing from the original innovators, about a year ago...
I thought the same thing... but MS seems to have been working on this for quite some time... and it supports multiple users which the other development didn't do.
Whatever, if they really manage to get this shipping by this year... wow.

Cheers,
Mike

CMT
05-30-2007, 08:41 AM
Pretty slick! The only thing I would like to see is a redesign of the table itself. It looks like it would be uncomfortable after a while. There's no knee room. You'd be bent over it the whole time. Not good for long hours of work. But I imagine they didn't design it initially as a workstation.

I still want one though!

NVentive
05-30-2007, 08:42 AM
Nogo on the Mac? Try http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18928656/

That's a little more mainstream reporting, but you can still see what it's about.
This thing has been around for a while (ms usually either buys, copies, or just downright steals innovation) and I think the Wacom heritage suggestion is an accurate assessment. Still, M$ seems to be doing something interesting with the OS support. 'Wonder where Jobs is on this?

Lightwolf
05-30-2007, 09:18 AM
This thing has been around for a while (ms usually either buys, copies, or just downright steals innovation) and I think the Wacom heritage suggestion is an accurate assessment.
Well, that must've been before 2001 then, if you look at the product history.
It's not like MS doesn't do any research on their own, especially since MS has a few hundred researchers working for them.

Cheers,
Mike

mattclary
05-30-2007, 09:19 AM
I'm not sure what vaule there is in this extension though ,you really don't need to be able to drag you desktop icon around with your fingers. There's really no benefit.

Agreed. And the cursor driven by a mouse or tablet will have a better resolution than with a finger tip. If you are going to manipulate points or pixels, you need to know the tip of the cursor is where the action happens. If you try to use your finger, that covers LOTS of pixels, so which one is it you are man-handling?

hrgiger
05-30-2007, 11:10 AM
True to a point. With a screen that size that they were using in the demo, you could use one hand to switch tools using the tool buttons while using your mouse with the other hand.

hrgiger
05-30-2007, 11:16 AM
Stupid 5 minute limit on posting...I was just going to say that I switch tools often enough that it would speed up my workflow to work in such a way.

cresshead
05-30-2007, 12:29 PM
looks cool...interesting that apple were on about patenting the multi touch screen on their i phone yet microsft had this in devlopment for the last 5 years...so who owns the patent?..could i phone be delayed?..

NVentive
05-30-2007, 01:56 PM
'Wish I could remember where I saw this concept first displayed (pardon the pun.) Seems like it was on some 'Future tech' TV show of some kind, five or six years ago. The one I saw could be written on with handwriting recognition, and had a cute postit note feature. It also had a scalable keyboard image that could be called up and shoved aside as needed. This same show also previewed a flat, desktop monitor that could literally distort it's face on the Y axis to show topography. I have not seen anything else on that.
All of this could, I suppose, be an MS development, or a joint venture of some kind. They do have a budget and probably have an R&D person or two. Seems like, however, for most of their history, they have been less than nimble when it comes to innovation. Just a bias on my part, perhaps -- I've never been a fan. I sometimes wonder if they are at all concerned about brand impression...

walfridson
05-30-2007, 02:44 PM
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/65
Feb 2006 :)

Lightwolf
05-30-2007, 03:06 PM
Seems like, however, for most of their history, they have been less than nimble when it comes to innovation.
Big companies hardly ever are. Then again, Ford didn't invent the car... but mass produced it and made it affordable.

Cheers,
Mike

oDDity
05-30-2007, 03:42 PM
If it is MS developing it, I wish they'd give us a decent OS to use it on instead of wasting time on these pointless toys. It took them 5 years to come up with Vista ,which is nothing but shiny gloss.
I'm the sort of guy who still uses the windows classic skin in XP, I need no amount of fancy crap whatsoever, just get the essentials right.

alifx
05-30-2007, 03:50 PM
this would be good for military/prestations/meetings/demos

but not for us IMO :D

Lightwolf
05-30-2007, 04:12 PM
If it is MS developing it, I wish they'd give us a decent OS to use it on instead of wasting time on these pointless toys. It took them 5 years to come up with Vista ,which is nothing but shiny gloss.

Not really, if you look at what changes under the hood (but I'm not going to start a thread on heap management either).
As always, it will take a few years until software manufacturers catch up, and Vista has the last few issues ironed out (anybody remember XP at the start?).
MS also has a different target group than pesky artists - plenty of corporate customers where other thigns are more important (just look at the amount of business apps built on top of Office...).

Cheers,
Mike

JCG
05-30-2007, 04:43 PM
What I like about this is the possibility of having more than 1 pointer interacting with the program at once. We have gotten used to sculpting with 1 finger but I can sort of see how we could benefit from using ten... sometimes.

Of course the obvious benefit would be in animating. Manupulating an IK rig from six or eight points at once would not be too hard if they are well placed, or if there is a proxy panel like maestro's. It would make animating a lot more like puppeteering and a lot faster. Or moving and turning to cars together over a racetrack. Or one animator moving each car and reacting to the other animator's actions live, fully immersed in the driver's character.

For NLE, working with two hands at once should also be a speed boost.

From the videos it seems that you don't have to use actual fingertips, though, since it recognizes objects. You could wear high precision pointers on your fingers or use two pens.

Yes, the thing will be useless for us when it's released but apps could take advantage of it in nice ways, if it gets enough adopters to warrant the development.


As always, it will take a few years until software manufacturers catch up, and Vista has the last few issues ironed outDidn't MS say that it would ony be like two years between Vista and their next OS?

hrgiger
05-30-2007, 07:14 PM
Well, it looks like any of you that are going to Siggraph may get to see it up close and personal.

Matt
05-30-2007, 07:31 PM
Thing is, with things like this, great for slinging photos around like in the demo, but for accurate CAD like operations, such as editing points on a detailed mesh, you just couldn't use your fingers, they are way too fat and chubby! You would need some sort of stylus to make it accurate.

So, for certain things, would be great, for others, the mouse / stylus can't be beat IMO.

beverins
05-30-2007, 10:40 PM
Well, it looks like any of you that are going to Siggraph may get to see it up close and personal.

I dunno - I saw it LAST year at Siggraph Boston.

It was not invented by Microsoft, it was invented by a guy at MIT. He was showing it off, they even have videos of it on Youtube of him showing off the same stuff they're showing in the videos now.

Oh well.

Nice name, though. Surface.

Lost_Soul
05-30-2007, 11:16 PM
The video looks pretty interesting. First gens are always going to leave you wanting more, probably around the third or fourth will it be a really interesting tool. They do say that it will react to anything, brushes, stylus, so then you could have a 30 inch interactive monitor and still use your wacom pen, now only if it were still pressure sensitive.

Iain
05-31-2007, 02:14 AM
I think you have to bear in mind that in 20 years time, the mouse and tablet are going to look like laughably clumsy throwbacks when we are all controlling our pcs just by darting our eyes around and raising our eyebrows a la Roger Moore.
Twitching your nose will switch between apps like Alt+Tab does now. A nasal snort will take the place of undo.

It's true and you know it. Embrace the future.

Bytehawk
05-31-2007, 02:21 AM
We'd better start training our nasal snorts then ...

Lightwolf
05-31-2007, 02:30 AM
I think you have to bear in mind that in 20 years time, the mouse and tablet are going to look like laughably clumsy throwbacks when we are all controlling our pcs just by darting our eyes around and raising our eyebrows a la Roger Moore.
And I thought we'd talk to our mouse by then.... oh well....

Cheers,
Mike

Bog
05-31-2007, 03:53 AM
I dunno - I saw it LAST year at Siggraph Boston.

It was not invented by Microsoft, it was invented by a guy at MIT. He was showing it off, they even have videos of it on Youtube of him showing off the same stuff they're showing in the videos now.

And one of those youtube videos is mine ;) Reactable was the very first thing I thought of with this, but finger-to-screen intereaction needed a sticker on one's finger (looked like an RAF roundel).

I think any similarities between it and other projects are why MS have made such a big deal of having their development timeline shown on the site. Shows how times've changed, they never normally gave a stuff. *heh*

mattclary
05-31-2007, 05:46 AM
Thing is, with things like this, great for slinging photos around like in the demo, but for accurate CAD like operations, such as editing points on a detailed mesh, you just couldn't use your fingers, they are way too fat and chubby! You would need some sort of stylus to make it accurate.

So, for certain things, would be great, for others, the mouse / stylus can't be beat IMO.

Great Matts think alike. ;)

toby
06-02-2007, 09:57 PM
Ya, it's a really cool... toy. Kind of thing you'll only see in Vegas...

Danic101
06-04-2007, 11:27 AM
If this was an Apple Product everybody would be gushing.

This is technology that Microsoft itself as created not based on Jeff Hans or Wacoms work. It uses a simple infrared and near infrared based camera system. It runs on Windows Vista with a control Layer on top. The first application on this will be T-Mobile stores, Bars/Restaurants and Chance Gaming Solutions(i.e slot machines) IGT (a huge LW house) is already in development on some games for it. Microsoft plans on having a consumer level product in about 5 years. They are keeping costs down by using mostly off the shelf components. I applaud Microsoft for this product, University demos don't matter.

ingo
06-04-2007, 03:08 PM
Cool, so M$ innovates a 25 year old product from Mitsubishi again. Although the technique is different its the same principle from the DiamondTouch display.

Afaik Apple and Microsoft have still kind of a license agreement so the iPhone and that huge box called "surface" wont start a license war.

http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/18079/

http://www.merl.com/projects/DiamondTouch/

For the german speaking LW croud :

http://www.heise.de/tr/artikel/90515

toby
06-04-2007, 03:10 PM
Chance Gaming Solutions(i.e slot machines) IGT...
I'm a prophet and I don't even know it...

redlum
06-04-2007, 03:32 PM
Errr ... hmmmm ... well, uh -- except that many of us can remember the same thing from the original innovators, about a year ago...

No kidding. Even the carousel "dock" at the bottom of the screen looks like iTunes. Gates is the most unoriginal man on the planet.

redlum
06-04-2007, 03:37 PM
I think you have to bear in mind that in 20 years time, the mouse and tablet are going to look like laughably clumsy throwbacks when we are all controlling our pcs just by darting our eyes around and raising our eyebrows a la Roger Moore.
Twitching your nose will switch between apps like Alt+Tab does now. A nasal snort will take the place of undo.

It's true and you know it. Embrace the future.

and robots that watch the kids and flying cars? One can dream. . .:D

LemurGuy
07-26-2007, 01:10 PM
What I like about this is the possibility of having more than 1 pointer interacting with the program at once. We have gotten used to sculpting with 1 finger but I can sort of see how we could benefit from using ten... sometimes.

Of course the obvious benefit would be in animating. Manupulating an IK rig from six or eight points at once would not be too hard if they are well placed, or if there is a proxy panel like maestro's.

What about modeling .. how nice would it be to hold an "anchor point" and then slide you other hand away stretching something ... or creating motion paths by tracing from point a to b... you could really feel like you were "kneading" your model with an interface like this!


From the videos it seems that you don't have to use actual fingertips, though, since it recognizes objects. You could wear high precision pointers on your fingers or use two pens.

Actually it recognizes objects using infrared cameras situated above the tables. In theory there would be no reason you couldn't use two styli with Surface ... or even have specialized pens that the cameras could recognize that do more specific things. You could even add functionality to use physical objects to place your view ports or have tactile buttons for options menus. Outside the box ... thats where you have to think for budding technologies like this.

Stooch
07-26-2007, 09:06 PM
I want to see some real strides in brain wave recognition and eye focus detection. its already being used by experimental jet fighters and high end SLR cameras. i think that once an HID interface is developed that can support this, humanity will never be the same. we will truly be masters of information. we will also become fat and frail. lol.

DogBoy
07-27-2007, 04:12 AM
well if this thing can pick up the RFIDs from objects it would be a piece o' p*ss to make custom tools for sculpting.

use you hand to rotate and move then use different pens to actually make the changes. This would be a hella lot easier than how it works now, as you could rotate as you model. Realtime lathing, for instance.

Me likey.

Mr Maze
07-27-2007, 03:48 PM
Microsoft already has a basic/somewhat similar product like this working where I live - all of the grocery stores have self-checkout lanes with touchscreen interfaces. They are all running on win xp. HP has a computer out with a full touchscreen interface that is based on windows also, in an iMac format. However, I just don't see this working well with media professionals.

However, if you need the fine detail of a mouse cursor while working in LW, you could just grow some real long fingernails...