Thursday, October 30, 2008

PDC 08 - Day 3

Another day at the PDC. Today's keynote introduced some of the projects Microsoft Research Labs (read my review from awhile back). Some, like a new generation of Surface computer that can read hand gestures made above the table, and can project content on other surfaces - look nice, but not really practical yet. Others, like Mesh and Worldwide Telescope look more useful.

I've attended some sessions and pariticpated in a couple of hands on labs. And then I got an hour to play on a Surface, by myself. Throughout the conference, there were several Surface machines. But they were always surounded by people. Some were playing the Scavenger Hunt game, others using musical instruments, or sharing photos. While I can't immediately see private applications for it (and the price point is still high for the private sector), I do see some uses in the commercial sector - as a planning tool, or as a fun tool (it's already used in some casinos).
Oh yes, I actually got to see one crash. It runs Vista Business as its OS smile.

I believe touch interaction is the future. Windows 7 supports it out of the box, and for $1500 you can now buy a HP TouchSmart computer that contains a touchscreen, with Windows 7 drivers. Those HPs were used throughout the show for demos and hands-on labs. In fact, this is one of those "adult moments" where I have to convince myself that although this looks cool, i don't really need it smile.

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