Sunday, January 23, 2011

Microsoft Surface 2.0 - a "touch screen TV"

In CES 2011 earlier this month, Microsoft demonstrated Samsung SUR40 running Microsoft Surface 2.0.
The technology to capture the hands, fingers or object moves on a 40 inches screen has evolved from cameras to sensitive screens.
The price of this new version still is 6000€+. Even if divided by 2 from previous version, this should prevent usage by consumers.
The most important move however with this version is the possibility to hang the large screen on a wall, coming from horizontal use cases to vertical use cases.

The use cases addressed through the demos in CES were:
- horizontal, combined with NFC, to recognise objects, being Redbull cans for immersive advertising or active coins for "poker like" gaming,
- vertical, for museum to enable visitors exploring a large interactive diaporama.

Limitations of horizontal use cases were already addressed here.

SUR40 hanging on a wall becomes a "touch screen TV". Demo in museum, as presented in CES, limits usage to one single user only. This would mean quite huge investment if a museum wants to support 5-10 simultaneous users as a painting or passive wall paper.
The other case demonstrated in the show tells a story about a bank proposing a draw, forcing customers to come in the bank to know if they win (let's imagine the frustrations).

The Kinect technology looks to me much more appealing for move detection in front of a large screen than Surface. Moreover, Kinect decouples the screen technology from the interactive part, which is more scalable "market wise".

So why not investing all Microsoft money sunk in Surface innovations to make Kinect move detection much more accurate, unbeatable ?
One of the reason could be the big challenge of innovation management. From a team management perspective, it's much easier to start an innovation project than to stop it.

Curious to see the success of Surface 2.0 and/or if a Surface 3.0 version will exist.

To be continued ...

Benoit Quirynen

No comments:

Post a Comment