Microsoft shows off "Mobile Surface" - real world Minority Report

Microsoft has shown off a system dubbed "Mobile Surface" which links a mobile phone to a camera and projector. The system lets users interact with a projected screen by hand movements.

Todd Bishop at TechFlash, spotted the new device at Microsoft's annual employee only "TechFest" event. Named after its big brother, Microsoft Surface, the Mobile Surface allows users to interact with content without the requirement of physical touch. In the video below you can see a Microsoft worker demonstrate music volume control by moving their hands up and down over the table.

Mary Jo Foley (ZDnet) also spotted some additional information about the Mobile Surface over at Microsoft's Research site. The information has since been removed but according to a Google Cached version of the site, we can see that Microsoft believes the Mobile Surface is novel interaction system for mobile computing. "Our goal is to bring Microsoft Surface experience to mobile scenarios, and more importantly, to enable 3D interaction with mobile devices. We do research on how to transform any surface (e.g., a coffee table or a piece of paper) to Mobile Surface with a mobile device and a camera-projector system."

Microsoft is not stating if and when this type of system will be available.

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20 Comments

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I actually think Bill Gates himself did a more thorough (and practical) demo of that technology when he visited my university back in 2005 than what was shown here, but hey, I'm sure something like this is going to be really slow-going.

Yeah but what you people fail to recognize its the amount of research that's going on with respect to multitouch devices and like everything in technology the final standard will come from different sources, don't you see the new paradigm shift? from physical to virtual, from stationary to real mobility, from some places of access to ubiquity....did i mention how cool this is in itself?

GP007 said,
Wow, look at all the people so quick to knock something proabably because it's from MS.

Give them an IMat (512 Iphones taped) and they will take it as revolutionary!

Nowhere near as good as the Sixth Sense stuff showed at TED a year ago - http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html

ThomMcK said,
Nowhere near as good as the Sixth Sense stuff showed at TED a year ago - http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html

Microsoft research for years had something just like that without the projector. You use Pen caps and things to interact with your desktop like a mouse. You can download it from microsoft research and use it.

This is similiar but without the tape on the fingers.

ThomMcK said,
Nowhere near as good as the Sixth Sense stuff showed at TED a year ago - http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html

Yes, because the next thing we all need is to carry and or wear even more tech stuff on us than what some of us do already.

Sure the idea is cool, if you're a tech geek, that's the sorta stuff TED goes for, but few, if any, of the stuff they show there never really makes it out of R&D.

Sean2989 said,
That's kickass! I wonder how Natal is related to this.

Sort of is and sort of not. This used just a projector and a camera. Technically once pico projectors get cheap enough you can put this into a mobile phone .

Sean2989 said,
That's kickass! I wonder how Natal is related to this.

Probably shares the same sorta motion tracking code.

RealFduch said,

Wait until Apple copies and patents this.

what are you talking about? apple already patented this 20 years ago... /s

cabron said,
The video is nothing amazing, I want to see something more useful for business people.

I dont think seeing someone use air gestures to flip through some spreadsheets or word documents would thrill tech enthusiasts but I 100% agree with you that the pic above the video in this article looks more like what I want to see it do.

cabron said,
The video is nothing amazing, I want to see something more useful for business people.

You have to start somewhere...