Design students create lots of Surface blade concepts in new video

A few weeks ago, Microsoft released a short video that showed how a group of students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., were recruited to create concepts for "blades," the accessories that can connect to the Surface family of tablets. Now the school itself has uploaded its own extended video of the blade concept jam session.

The video itself is a fascinating look at how these students went about creating the concepts with their initial designs drawn on paper or on a whiteboard. These were followed up by crude mock-ups of the blades, which were presented in all shapes and sizes.

Some of the mock-ups includes a keyboard, percussion and DJ set-up, an artist tool kit, a solar panel, a cash register and a way for two people to view a video in a three dimensional space. Perhaps the most interesting concept is for a Surface blade to download an application that can be used by a kind of strip that is printed from the blade and can be used for a variety of things. Depending on the application, the strip can be worn around the wrist for an exercise monitor, or folded to become a PC mouse or made to serve as a remote control.

So far, Microsoft has yet to officially announce any plans for hardware developers to create third-party blades for the Surface tablets, but the company seems to be hinting with this art design jam that they could allow others to make their own unique accessories for the Surface soon.

Source: Art Center College of Design (YouTube)

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

LG G2 Review: The battle of the Android flagship handsets

Next Story

Google developing 'Mobile Meter' to track mobile usage and offer rewards

45 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Am I the only one that didn't like any of their ideas? Seriously, a box that's a cash register? Make your own electronics? None of them used the idea of a blade, which is a touch cover's internal sensor, reprogrammed as something else. Actually... one of them did, but they just expanded on the DJ blade.

spacer said,
Looks like a lot of niche concepts with extremely narrow scope and limited uses. No thanks.

Okay thanks, pick up your check at the door and have a nice day.

Instead of plastic, and instead of buying every time a ''dj blade'', a ''architect blade'' for CAD design, or a ''cooking blade'' for playing cooking games etc... why not a second, low cost LCD/LED display that acts like a keyboard with the desired functionality based on the specific program/game?

In principle that is _exactly_ what the gen2 covers are, they are one huge sensor pad with near 1100 reference points all pressure sensitive. Surface is really pushing the concept further with each generation instead of just making it .1 mm thinner and a few grams lighter. In all fairness, what Apple did back in the day with Mac is what Microsoft is now doing with surface. No make that what Commodore did with the Amiga. Innovate, be creative, inspire and allow people to work off of the main platform and create their own thing..

Copernic said,
Instead of plastic, and instead of buying every time a ''dj blade'', a ''architect blade'' for CAD design, or a ''cooking blade'' for playing cooking games etc... why not a second, low cost LCD/LED display that acts like a keyboard with the desired functionality based on the specific program/game?
I don't think they were discounting that possibility.

Copernic said,
Instead of plastic, and instead of buying every time a ''dj blade'', a ''architect blade'' for CAD design, or a ''cooking blade'' for playing cooking games etc... why not a second, low cost LCD/LED display that acts like a keyboard with the desired functionality based on the specific program/game?

One guy in the video (i'm pretty sure) said something to that effect.

Great concepts are here, but lets wait till Microsoft actually capitalizes on them. Right now, we're only staring at the possibilities which don't get me wrong is a great start, but nothing near the finished product.

There's nothing wrong with showing future possibilities. In fact, it brings more inspiration and innovate ideas this way.

Did you not hear it? He just told you there where enough ideas in that room for multiple startups.

Microsoft just did what they DO better then anyone, they demonstrated and idea with thousands of possibilities for everyone to capitalize on, not Just Microsoft.

This is Why I have always Loved Microsoft. The Fruit Company would have just stolen the ideas. Microsoft wants people to go out and create.

GO MICROSOFT

Before people say "Microsoft'll just buy em out" Microsoft doesn't do anything that won't be at least a $100 million revenue. It be a great idea for a start up to make blades for it.

Wow, I guess we don't have to say anything about Android Tablets and whatnot. But hey! Let's give a round of applause for the students who did some good custom work like many companies who can do the same on an iPad, just takes amazing programming and hardware knowledge!

Mr.XXIV said,
who can do the same on an iPad, just takes amazing programming and hardware knowledge!

There's no custom 'cover port' on an iPad or Android tablet. So no, you can't do the same and 'click in' like you can on the Surface. They can in other non-user-friendly ways though, yes.

j2006 said,

There's no custom 'cover port' on an iPad or Android tablet. So no, you can't do the same and 'click in' like you can on the Surface. They can in other non-user-friendly ways though, yes.

This guy gets it. The iPad only has one all-in-one port which makes it really bad for multitasking. If you use the cover port on the suface you still have a USB port and a power port!

PmRd said,

This guy gets it. The iPad only has one all-in-one port which makes it really bad for multitasking. If you use the cover port on the suface you still have a USB port and a power port!

You realize the Lightning port can still charge? And have you not been reading about 3rd parties taking advantage of iOS 7? Probably not.

CSharp. said,

Sure, let's talk about the iPad. That's what this article is about, right?

I'm tired of Android and Windows lovers who don't understand how Software + Hardware works.

CSharp. said,

Sure, let's talk about the iPad. That's what this article is about, right?

Ohhh watch out! It's the topic police.

Mr.XXIV said,

You realize the Lightning port can still charge? And have you not been reading about 3rd parties taking advantage of iOS 7? Probably not.

You realise that having to plug everything in the same tiny port is really annoying. Not to mention that not all accessories provide power. With my Surface RT, while it's charging, I can transfer files from my SD card to a USB drive with my keyboard plugged in. Let's see an iPad do that.

Edited by PmRd, Oct 15 2013, 12:31am :

Mr.XXIV said,
Especially when it's better to have even MORE cords all over your device.

Cords? hmmm USB stick.. no cord.. SD Card... no cord.. Keyboard.. no cord.. I only see a power cord... you were saying?

We never needed one if all of our devices work with the Cloud. We don't send SD cards into mobile devices, we put them on our Macs, thus organizing with iPhoto or Aperture, plus iCloud.

Mr.XXIV said,
We never needed one if all of our devices work with the Cloud. We don't send SD cards into mobile devices, we put them on our Macs, thus organizing with iPhoto or Aperture, plus iCloud.
Options. You sound as though you've forgotten what that means.

Mr.XXIV said,
We never needed one if all of our devices work with the Cloud. We don't send SD cards into mobile devices, we put them on our Macs, thus organizing with iPhoto or Aperture, plus iCloud.

Yes, transfering hundreds of RAW 20+ megapixel photos over the cloud is a great idea!!

It's cool, that doesn't worry us, at least we have great displays and performance and great transfer. Did we mention that we have a router/backup drive that can also be used as a file server?

MrHumpty said,
Options. You sound as though you've forgotten what that means.

Options? Blasphemy! Obviously the best option is always the most expensive! /s

PmRd said,

Options? Blasphemy! Obviously the best option is always the most expensive! /s

Is that why Android is widely used for over 4000 models and yet you fail to create a great fingerprint scanner with the HTC One Max?

Mr.XXIV said,

Is that why Android is widely used for over 4000 models and yet you fail to create a great fingerprint scanner with the HTC One Max?

Oh dear lord did you really say that... A fingerprint scanner is the most stupid and useless piece of hardware you can put on a phone. They already shown it can be fooled by the MOST BASIC of tricks ever. I know it's hard for you to be a Apple fan today.. In two years all you got was four more icons and a cheap ass fingerprint scanner and let's not forget the complete mess that is IOS7

Mr.XXIV said,

Is that why Android is widely used for over 4000 models and yet you fail to create a great fingerprint scanner with the HTC One Max?

Fingerprint authenticators have been around on computing devices of all sizes for a while now. Its a cute solution to a small problem. I do love watching people go after it for a few trys to get into their phone when a 4 digit pin would have them in in nearly the same amount of time and effort.

Mr.XXIV said,
It's cool, that doesn't worry us, at least we have great displays and performance and great transfer. Did we mention that we have a router/backup drive that can also be used as a file server?

yeah because your camera has cloud capabilites (actually it uses something called an SD card that you plug into your computer).
Also did you forget the free 200GB of SkyDrive storage you get PLUS Skype minutes?

Did you forget the automatic transfers and updates between the devices, even while the Mac is asleep? I never cared about Skype. All of my friends have iDevices or/and Macs and I get most of the job done this way.

If you're still having to put up with an SD card when transferring, then something is wrong.

There will be android versions of this same concept soon, they just haven't copied it yet. Samsung copies everything they see. Mark my word, this will be copied by Samsung and other android tablet makers soon.

i like having a physical copy. what about video files? transferring gigs to the cloud will take time, removable media isn't going any where til our nations infrastructure gets another upgrade. Both apple and microsoft have their positives and negatives. get over it.

watsxn said,
i like having a physical copy. what about video files? transferring gigs to the cloud will take time, removable media isn't going any where til our nations infrastructure gets another upgrade. Both apple and microsoft have their positives and negatives. get over it.

So when did I mention about the SD's going to desktop? If you're gonna talk about videos, then that's where our users on Mac use iMovie or Final Cut Pro. At least we come with actual apps that get the job done, unlike even Windows 8 where it's just too basic of an OS to come with anything that may suit our needs..oh wait, you guys get a free Office on your Surface. I'll let it slide. get over my b***

Mr.XXIV said,

So when did I mention about the SD's going to desktop? If you're gonna talk about videos, then that's where our users on Mac use iMovie or Final Cut Pro. At least we come with actual apps that get the job done, unlike even Windows 8 where it's just too basic of an OS to come with anything that may suit our needs..oh wait, you guys get a free Office on your Surface. I'll let it slide. get over my b***


Windows users have SkyDrive for years (that's why no one mentions cloud as something special), only recently it's being baked into OS for good. and you're jumping from iPad to Mac too much with your examples, while Surface Pro is both tablet and a powerful PC in one device.