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Old 06-22-2007, 10:32 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Microsoft Surface enables multi-touch on standard notebook

A Cambridge guy working for Microsoft Research had the incredible idea to implement Microsoft's Surface Table technology into a standard Dell notebook.

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Steve's solution is remarkably simple yet effective. With an off-the-shelf laptop, he retrofitted some infrared sensors on the back and together with the magic of software, you have multi-touch! Check out the following video clip (excerpt from MSR Cambridge video) to see his demonstration. It has all the dragging and pinching demos you'd expect to see in every multi-touch display, so don'dt expect to be blown away.
Caution: Your notebook might get jealous and crash itself on purpose.



[via Gizmodo]
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:56 AM   #2
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now that's impressive. the two finger zoom alone is amazing.
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:22 AM   #3
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The IR approach is a stroke of brilliance! But can it be retrofitted on a Tablet (looks like a "probably" on convertibles)? Even just adding it to future models would totally rock!
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:31 AM   #4
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Does that mean that Vista has support for a couple of independent controllers? I use two mice at home and at work, but they both control only a single cursor (!!!). I found somewhere that this was a conscious windows design decision (By the way there is a driver that enables more cursors in Windows, http://cpnmouse.sourceforge.net, but it's not really usable...)

Support for multiple independent controllers, now that would be a good reason for me to upgrade. On the other hand it's a bit sad that the advent of multi-touch screens in a single cursor world, seems like "640K should be enough for anybody" repeating itself .
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:36 AM   #5
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Given that he is an official Microsoft researcher, I would guess he has some extra tricks up his sleeve when working with Vista
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:11 PM   #6
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The IR approach is a stroke of brilliance! But can it be retrofitted on a Tablet (looks like a "probably" on convertibles)? Even just adding it to future models would totally rock!
Funny I had the same thought when I saw the thread! Now why hasn't MS thought of it too? Too simple and not expensive enough?
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:14 PM   #7
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Given that he is an official Microsoft researcher, I would guess he has some extra tricks up his sleeve when working with Vista
You mean like getting Vista to work properly?
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:37 PM   #8
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Vista works perfectly!

(It's the users, computer makers, software designers and electricity suppliers that are faulty!)
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:07 AM   #9
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The IR approach - nice idea, although not revolutionary nor unseen.
Multitouch - old, ooold, oooooold...
Gestures - there used to be a company called Fingerworks that used to make (& sell) replacement touch panel keyboards for PowerBooks (among other things)... Except typing, it supported quite a nifty batch of multi-finger gestures, for pointing, scrolling, rotating, zooming, dragging, copying, pasting and lots more. There were also specific sets of gestures for various apps, i.e. Photoshop, Maya, Emacs etc.

All other companies, like apple or microsoft, claiming they were the first or revolutionary (gesture-wise) are just delusional

See here:
http://www.fingerworks.com/userguides.html
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:59 AM   #10
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Vista works perfectly!

(It's the users, computer makers, software designers and electricity suppliers that are faulty!)
I think you need a trip to the loony bin. There is no chance in heck that Vista is perfect. It's another WindowsME.
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Old 06-27-2007, 04:29 PM   #11
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I think you need a trip to the loony bin. There is no chance in heck that Vista is perfect. It's another WindowsME.
I tend to disagree. Yes, it got a lot of bells and whistles nobody needs, most foremost the new GUI. But you can turn that all off. And there are some concepts in Vista that are new in Windows, and that are certainly worth pointing out. For instance, the UAC (user access control) is a great feature, if you learn how to use it to minimize the annoyance of screens popping up. Along with it, MS improved the security of the filesystem, by virtualizing access to the program folders for users without admin rights. There are alot of other improvements under the hood, such as the new networking features (new IP stack, support for IPv6), and better driver architecture.

Check out this Wiki entry for an incomplete list of changes/improvements. It's certainly a lot more revolutionary than the step Windows 98 -> ME
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Old 06-27-2007, 04:50 PM   #12
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Check out this Wiki entry for an incomplete list of changes/improvements.
Thanks for that link, TadW -- I don't plan to go to Vista until they're working on its replacement () but I am curious as to what all is different.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:58 AM   #13
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Am I alone in strongly disliking devices which operate by touching the screen with your fingers? I have an absolute loathing of fingerprints on screens - if I get even the merely hint of a fingerprint on the screen of any of my devices I feel an irresistable urge to clean it!
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:04 AM   #14
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Am I alone in strongly disliking devices which operate by touching the screen with your fingers? I have an absolute loathing of fingerprints on screens - if I get even the merely hint of a fingerprint on the screen of any of my devices I feel an irresistable urge to clean it!
I feel the same way, it's prevented me from acquiring a tablet PC for years. I cringe every time I see the little waves created by someone touching an LCD.
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:21 AM   #15
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Heh, I like those little waves.
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