After what has seemed like a lifetime in the development process, the state of the art table touch screen system, The Microsoft Surface SUR40, in its newest version, is finally being delivered globally to its patient clientele. And unlike the unwieldy queuing crowds of iPad and and iPhone customers this small exclusive group of paying customers are taking delivery at their homes and businesses of this breathtakingly beautiful piece of equipment. Having undergone a serious strategic upgrade the new device is more portable and desirable than its predecessor.

On the Microsoft Surface Blog it is possible to watch some of the new pieces being delivered and unboxed (which might serve as a useful and instructive forum if you are unsure which end of the packaging to address first) and constructed. The surface comes boxed in a self assembly kit and it can be seen being delicately unveiled and assembled by recipients who will have paid between $8,000 and $10,000 for the devices. (A value which is sure to have the site team at the locations upgrading their locksmith training) The Surface has been delivered to recipients in some 23 countries globally including the United Kingdom, USA, India and Japan. The rollout will continue throughout 2012 where as many as 80 countries will have centres sporting the latest version of this award winning technical innovation.

Calibration Issues

For some of the recipient s of the surface calibration has been an issue.  James Maki, form the Surface team offers some useful advice in this respect on the surface blog,

“If you try to calibrate without the board, you’ll likely mess up your touch input. If you’re curious like me, your instinct might be to double-click the “Calibration Tool” icon located on the desktop just to see what it does. My recommendation is to leave it alone unless you already have your calibration board and you really need to recalibrate your unit.”

New Sleeker Version

The latest version builds on the many innovative features of the original surface units which were delivered from 2008 to 2010. The units combined the multi-touch surface contact with wireless contact for peripherals devices such as PDA’s and Digital Camera’s to create a unit which was unique in the technology it operated if unfortunately prohibitively expensive for general domestic use. Business customers ranged from banks and building socities to restaurants and bars where the surface used RFID technology to read card chips and settle bills. With Samsung PixelSense the surface has now been developed into a thinner, sleeker format adding a real elegance to its magnificent functionality.

Developing New Software

From the Surface website the recipients of the new devices can join in with the teams at work developing innovative features to help obtain the highest performance from their new devices.  Included in the range of exciting toys that come with this kit are jigsaw puzzles, where the pieces are actually moving screens. Through using the Input Simulator, which is part of the Surface 2.0 Developer Kit, developers keen to show their interest and app creating ability, have been able to join with teams of experts and create or refine software for the Surface.

Hit in the USA

In the US the surface made a big splash at the National Retail Conventions 101st Annual Convention and Expo titled ‘The Big Show’. The event which, which was addressed by former American President Bill Clinton, showcased thousands of the newest innovations to hit the US Market and the Surface was one of the focal points of the event.

How is the product being used?

Among those who have received the surface are many major retailers who are preparing to utilize the devices in a variety of formats. In Australia Fujifilm are rolling out the device as a collaborative photo editing tool allowing them to create custom photo books with SUR40 photo editing tools. Pepsico Canada will be rolling out the SUR40 for customer engagement programmes targeting customers with a series of bespoke applications designed around their product. The University of Massachusetts Robotics Labarotory has use the device as part of a doctorate thesis on robotics. The uses of the device continue to be as wide, varied and innovative as the device is itself.

This is a guest post by Lucy Robinson. GeekTech thanks Lucy for submitting this wonderful article.

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