Microsoft Surface is a rare interplay of hardware and software from the Windows maker capable of turning heads, sans the Xbox console and the Kinect motion controller.
We're pretty sure you were left scratching your head when you first put your hands on this Minority Report device at a nearby mall or your carrier store.
Prepare to re-live that distinct 'wow' feeling because Microsoft at CES 2011 unveiled a next-generation Surface which incorporate stunning vision-based interaction. Yeah, mind-blowing stuff, as seen in a pair of videos below.
But that's not all. The new Surface is just four inches thin and packs in everything inside an elegant 40-inch high-definition LCD display which can be easily hung on a wall. That's right, Surface is no longer that bulky table which requires a separate room to operate. Co-operation between Microsoft and Samsung, Surface 2.0 has brought out a few noteworthy enhancements, like the use of the Gorilla Glass on an LCD or an AMD dual-core GPU ticking under its hood.
The coolest engineering feat has to be Samsung's PixelSense technology that taps tiny infrared sensors wedged between each pixel, which allows the entire display to double as an artificial eye of sorts. As a result, the new Surface can "see" your fingers and even text and images placed in front of the screen.
The use of an array of microscopic infrared sensors has also allowed engineers to ditch a bulky cabinet housing the cameras on the original Surface, resulting in a much more compact, wall-hung form factor.
You'll start seeing second-generation Surfaces deployed by Dassault Aviation, Fujifilm, Red Bull, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Red Bull and the Royal Bank of Canada, which utilizes third-party software that lets people get personalized guidance just by touching the screen with a flyer.
Best of all, this time regular Joes will be able to buy one for their home at Microsoft Stores across 23 different countries later this year, the team wrote in a blog post, suggesting the second-generation Surface might cost a lot less than the $12,500 asking price for the original version.