The Human Touch: Microsoft Surface puts people in control of their experiences with technology, making everyday tasks entertaining, enjoyable and efficient. Imagine ordering a beverage during a meal with just the tap of a finger. Imagine quickly browsing through music and dragging favorite songs onto a personal playlist by moving a finger across the screen. Imagine creating and sending a personal postcard of vacation pictures instantly to friends and family, while still wearing flip-flops.
Direct interaction. Users can actually “grab” digital information with their hands, interacting with content by touch and gesture, without the use of a mouse or keyboard. You can buy songs from a virtual music store and drag them directly into a Zune music player that you’ve placed on the glass. You can set a cellphone down on the table — and copy photos into it just by dragging them into the cellphone’s zone.
Tabletop PC introduced at 'D: All Things Digital' conference will respond to touch commands from multiple users at once. Microsoft Surface is a "multi-touch" tabletop computer that interacts with users through touch on multiple points on the screen. The concept is simple: Users interact with the computer completely by touch, on a surface other than a standard screen.
Multi-touch. Surface computing recognizes many points of contact simultaneously, not just from one finger like a typical touch-screen, but up to dozens of items at once.
Multi-user. The horizontal form factor makes it easy for several people to gather around surface computers together, providing a collaborative, face-to-face computing experience.
Object recognition. Users can place physical objects on the surface to trigger different types of digital responses, including the transfer of digital content.
Microsoft's definition of surface computing: direct interaction (for example, you might "dip" your finger on an on-screen paint palette, and then use your finger to draw on the screen); multi-touch contact, so the screen can react to multiple fingers and inputs simultaneously; multi-user experience, so multiple people can gather around and interact with the screen simultaneously; and object recognition, so the surface can recognize tagged objects and interact with them.
Microsoft Surface - The Possibilities