Microsoft has launched a new touch-sensitive table-shaped computer called 'surface'. It will not require a keyboard or mouse, so users can operate the PC with their fingers.  

Microsoft Surface

Surface uses cameras to sense objects, hand gestures and touch, then converts this user input and then projects the results on the screen/surface. It recognises many points of contact, not just a single finger or stylus, as with some other touch screen devices.

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft says it will initially sell the units to corporate customers - hotels, casinos, cafes and restaurants, though the company plans versions of the device for home use within five years. It will be priced at $10,000 (£5,000).

The first units will be deployed in November in Sheraton hotels, Harrah's casinos, T-Mobile stores, and restaurants.

While the applications for retailers, restaurants and casinos are obvious, it's hard to see it replacing the PC or laptop for home or office use, especially at those kinds of prices.

It is more expensive, less portable and less convenient than a laptop, and would give you backache after a short time looking down at it. It looks nice though.

Graham Charlton

Published 30 May, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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