Standing up at a wall or sitting at a fancy table to read your email? Working with one hand or two? Which would you prefer? Either way, within the next year or two, you may be performing your daily computing tasks in a much more interactive way instead of calmly hunched over your desktop. Two technologies have been in the works… two technologies that look so exactly alike you can’t help but wonder what is going on here. Jeff Han of Perceptive Pixel has his multi-touch and now Microsoft has debuted their Microsoft Surface. Exactly the same, except, Jeff’s is on the wall and Microsoft’s is on a table.
What’s the difference?
Besides those two obvious points, the only thing that seems to differ right now is that Jeff is focused on military and corporate uses, while Microsoft is focused on personal use. Matt Lombard makes a good point on his blog that Jeff’s name is not mentioned anywhere in the Microsoft Surface history. The Surface history claims to date back to 2001, while Jeff Han’s debuted at TED in Feb. 2006. Popular Mechanics breaks the whole thing down pretty well, but there’s nothing so far that hints at the relationship between the two technologies, if they are the same or will be merged together. Nevertheless, even if there may be stiff and contentious competition or some weird technological drama going on, this will no doubt change… things.
Where does SolidWorks and 3D fit in?
I can imagine, oh man, can I imagine, being able to sort, locate and organize information faster, see the relationships of interdependent parts spread out on the screen before me, modifying history dependent relationships without having to get into a static tree, everything happening within parts and assemblies completely visible, virtual options of configurations, circular menus, instant transfer and sharing of models, weights, fit, timelines… I could go on. All I have to say is SolidWorks, sign me up.
I’m gonna keep looking for how this develops. In the mean time, keep your eyes open, you may be ordering your pizza from the table you eat it on. Here is Popular Mechanics first look at the surface product.