Touch Screen Technology ‘What’s on the table?’

Anthony Marshall
Anthony Marshall
3 Mar 2009
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Touch screen technology is easy to use and is becoming more and more fashionable. Whilst handheld devices like the iconic i-phone are becoming more widespread, how will the technology develop on other interfaces?

Microsoft believes touch screen technology is equally adaptable on other interfaces and their investment reflects that view. They have developed the 'Microsoft Surface' which is effectively a larger touch screen tabletop surface. The 'Surface' has endless possibilities so it really depends on the 'Surface' owner as to how it is used.

Here’s a quick demo of how the Microsoft ‘Surface can be used.


The surface costs around $15,000 so it's not cheap, and even if you do have the cash it's still pretty tricky to get hold of one. However, it is already in use with four different partners including the Sheraton Hotels and T-Mobile, and the good news is that it’s just become available in Europe.

Whilst the 'Surface' is still in its infancy Microsoft is already working on its big brother. 'Microsoft Second Light' has recently been showcased, and in addition to the original data shown on the screen you can overlay a piece of semi-transparent paper and see a secondary source of data on the paper above the screen. Pretty cool stuff!

Take a look at Second Light by viewing the video below.


Looking at both devices it looks as though they have the power to change how we interact with each other, with businesses and with our everyday life. A few technology companies have already started developing applications for the Surface, and one online dating company (Skout) has just announced it’s taking it’s online business offline through 10,000 touch screens that will be located throughout the US at bars, clubs and restaurants.

There have been comments made about how this trailblazing technology is prohibitively expensive and it will never catch on. However, one critic has noted there were many similar comments made about the mobile phone a number of years back, and look at it now! It's only a matter of time, so watch this space.

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