Today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will divulge the details of a new product called Microsoft Surface that features a 30-inch table with a touch screen that users can interact with by using touch, gestures, and physical objects. Using the D: All Things Digital conference as the launch pad, Ballmer will announce that this product will launch at the end of the year, and the first implementation will be aimed at restaurants, hotels, retail shopping venues, and public entertainment spots.
"With Surface, we are creating more intuitive ways for people to interact with technology," said Ballmer. "We see this as a multibillion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror. Surface is the first step in realizing that vision."
Surface can be used simultaneously by multiple users, does not require a mouse or a keyboard, and can interact with physical objects (that have special tags) such as a mobile phones, beverage glasses, and retail products.
TechRepublic will have more details, photos, and quotes later today. Below is a photo (from Microsoft) of a couple interacting with a map using one of the Surface tables.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.