Friday, January 07, 2011

Microsoft Surface 2.0: the multi-touch wonder

It was worth the wait and the game has completely changed with the release of Microsoft Surface 2.0, the latest version of Microsoft's multi-touch product.

Now Microsoft has a partner in Samsung who will help with the hardware. The old bulky Surface table is now replaced with a sleek LCD panel. The new product, named as "Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface", is similar to a large LCD TV but with the multi-touch capability. People have already started calling it the world's biggest iPad.

It uses a new technology from Samsung, PixelSense, which gives LCD panels the power to see without the use of cameras.  The tiny infrared sensors wedged between pixels can sense touches, objects and tags.

Here are some specs of Surface 2.0 with the specs of Surface 1.0 in brackets:
  • Device Display: 40-inch LCD panel with Gorilla Glass (30-inch reflective surface with acrylic)
  • Resolution: 1920x1080, full HD 1080p, with a 16:9 aspect ratio (1024 x 768, no HD support)
  • Multi-touch technology: PixelSense (Projector and 5-cameras system)
  • Multi-touch capability: 50 simultaneous touches (52 simultaneous touches)
  • Device Form: 40-inch diagonal panel with 4-inch thickness (30-inch display in a table-like form factor, 22 inches high, 21 inches deep, and 42 inches wide)
  • Weight: 39.5 Kg (68 Kg)
  • Mounting: Horizontal and Vertical (Only Horizontal)
  • Processor: AMD Athlon™ II X2 Dual-Core Processor 2.9GHz paired with the AMD Radeon HD 6700M Series GPU featuring DirectX 11 support (Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.13 GHz)
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 (2 GB DDR2)
  • Hard Disk: 320 GB/7200 RPM (250GB SATA Hard Drive)
  • HDMI In / HDMI Out: Yes (No)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (Windows Vista Professional 32-bit)
  • Development Platform: Surface 2.0 SDK / WPF 4.0 / .NET 4.0 (Surface 1.0 SP1 SDK  / WPF 3.5 / .NET 3.5)
  • Cost: $7,600 ($12,500) -- Approximate Values
I had enjoyed developing applications for Surface 1.0 and was always excited to explain about them to others ("You don't use a mouse or keyboard... you just drag things with your fingers like you see in Avatar!"). But it never took off as expected and was not seen in common use, mostly due to its bulky size. Now with Surface 2.0, I'm sure things will be a lot different.


  1. Nice post, Sameer! And thanks for v2.0 vs v1.0 comparison.

  2. Hi, do you still work on pixelsense (ex Surface Table 2.0) applications ?