General Question

bluemukaki's avatar

Is Microsoft's Surface a touch sensitive display?

Asked by bluemukaki (4327points) April 3rd, 2008

Everywhere seems to be reporting different things, but does the Surface system use touch sensitive technology, or use sensors to determine where the users’ hands are?

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17 Answers

Breefield's avatar

I’ve heard a little bit about this when it came out, I only heard secondhand information but I believe they said it was using cameras and such to detect the position on your hand? Sounds stupid to me…I’m sure touch sensitive material would work much better in the long run.

robmandu's avatar

@Breefield is right. The Surface has to be a table because of the cameras.

Imagine how silly it’s gonna look at those AT&T stores when someone sets on iPhone on top of one.

Anyways, there’s no direct sensitivity to touch. Just camera tracking and a whole honkin’ PC inside to figure it all out.

klaas4's avatar

But it’s because of that camera, that that thing can recognize objects. A touch-sensitive material cannot read those domino-tags.

robmandu's avatar

@klaas, great point! Different technology to support different applications.

iceblu's avatar

@klaas4 There are no cameras, its all multi-touch, and its all controlled with hand gestures Also, since there are not cameras, then u can use other objects, like a paint brush to draw like an artist. =]

@robmandu Don’t judge to quickly, just because something sounds like a good answer, it doesn’t mean its right. Although Klaas4 did have a different view, and a good idea, thats not the case with cameras tho. Unless it was a Wii =D

It’s going to be awesome, but i can’t wait to see what happens when linux gets a hold of something like this. It’s going to be phenomenal and since it’s linux, its going to be free, if it happens.

Source: Wikipedia and my Brain

bluemukaki's avatar

@iceblu: The problem with your argument is that your source contradicts you:

“This is made possible by the fact that, in using cameras for input, the system does not rely on restrictive properties required of conventional touchscreen or touchpad devices such as the capacitance, electrical resistance, or temperature of the tool used (see Touchscreen).”

I missed that before…

robmandu's avatar

From the Microsoft Surface FAQ:

How does Surface work?
At a high level, Surface uses cameras to sense objects, hand gestures and touch. This user input is then processed and the result is displayed on the surface using rear projection.

klaas4's avatar

I know that because I saw that on YouTube with an interview.

byrd's avatar

“There are no cameras, its all multi-touch, and its all controlled with hand gestures Also, since there are not cameras, then u can use other objects, like a paint brush to draw like an artist. =]”

From your own source, Wikipedia:

“A projector underneath the surface projects an image onto its underside, while five cameras in the machine’s housing record reflections of infrared light from human fingertips. The camera can also recognize objects placed on the surface if those objects have specially-designed “tags” applied to them. Users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by placing and moving tagged objects.

The technology allows non-digital objects to be used as input devices. In one example, a normal paint brush was used to create a digital painting in the software.[13] This is made possible by the fact that, in using cameras for input, the system does not rely on restrictive properties required of conventional touchscreen or touchpad devices such as the capacitance, electrical resistance, or temperature of the tool used (see Touchscreen).”

Surface uses cameras as mentioned many times. I don’t know how you could claim there are no cameras especially after linking to a source which mentions it uses cameras, several times. Also, there are similar things already available based on Linux and this isn’t just a software solution so being based on Linux or open source doesn’t make it automatically free.

iceblu's avatar

@byrd shut up, i heard, i was rushing out of work and skim read it. I don’t need 4 people telling me my mistake, including a n00b like yourself. I know what i said was wrong and incorrect, but if u didn’t so blatantly see, i was alrdy reprimanded, 3 other times, so your just a wasting your time and life for no reason whatsoever.

byrd's avatar

Whoa, settle down, no need for the ad hominem attacks. o_0 Also, don’t call someone a ‘n00b’ (This isn’t a public CS server or YouTube), don’t be a hypocrite (See: wasting life/time), use correct grammar/spelling too (You’re, I, etc) and so on.

iceblu's avatar

@ byrd CS eh? mm2 And i don’t see myself as being hypocritical, yes my grammar is poor, but this has nothing to do with grammar, its about how i messed up my answer and i had lots of people attacking me.

byrd's avatar

You were hypocritical in regards to telling someone they’re wasting their ‘time and life’ despite that more or less being what that post was unless it somehow contributed to answering this Fluther question in a way I’m not aware of.

I never said your grammar had anything to do with the question but rather I gave you some suggestions so you’d be more tolerable, people would be able to understand your answers more easily, etc. Also, another suggestion, the basis of this site is to answer people’s questions with correct information so it doesn’t help if someone does the opposite and if you are rushing out from somewhere simply do not answer if you’re not sure (See: completely wrong), just wait till you have some time such as an extra 30 seconds to read the whole Wikipedia entry (Or just the first 2 paragraphs). No answer is better than an inaccurate answer.

I don’t see why you even replied in the first place if all you were really going to say was ‘n00b’ and ‘shut up’ (Kind of.. childish) so please do not continue using up Fluther’s bandwidth.

byrd's avatar

”.. (Kind of.. childish) ..”

”.. so please do not continue using up Fluther’s bandwidth.”

sndfreQ's avatar

[mod says]: let’s keep responses on-topic; please take side discussions private or use the chat room.

byrd's avatar

Thank you sndfreQ. iceblu, also, do not attempt to contact me if you were going to, I do not wish to discuss such a silly thing with you, have a good day.

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