Microsoft's vision of the future is all about touch and massive displays

While we currently live in a world where technology is already a centerpiece in the workplace and at home, people and companies are already developing new ideas on how these products could look like in the near future. Naturally, Microsoft has an interest in examining how the future of technology and how it will affect the lives of people around the world.

Today, Microsoft announced the opening of its revamped Envisioning Center in its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It's a joint project of Microsoft Research and several other company divisions that showcases what Microsoft thinks will be the future trends in technology in both the workplace and at home.

In Microsoft's future version of the office workplace, employees will work on huge touchscreen desks and walls. These products can also be used via voice commands or by connecting products such as a Microsoft Surface tablet or a Windows Phone device.

In a home setting, Microsoft's Envisioning Center has 4K displays for watching movies or video chats with family and friends. An interactive wall can be manipulated by touch and voice to show family pictures and notes or to look up a recipe for dinner. Even the kitchen tablet can become an interactive product to show how to cook a meal or to show the temperature of your frying pan.

Microsoft also thinks that retail stores can also offer interactive displays in the future when a person goes out shopping, which Microsoft believes will help to augment the overall shopping experience.

So how likely is it that all of these future technology product will show up in our workplace or home? We certainly think that a 4K TV display with interactive features isn't that far away, and elements of the huge touchscreens at work and at home will almost certainly appear in the real world someday. The question is what will the final form of these future visions really be like five or 10 years from now.

Source: Microsoft

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I actually thought it was a great concept. It seems much more feasible, yet still neat to me.

I think it's pretty obvious that these giant flat panels will not be your main personal computer. These seem totally geared towards collaboration or special uses. If you think it'd be that difficult to reach objects on a screen, how do you guys reach stuff in everyday life?

Can be used at school and linked to teachers laptop. The whole multimedia experience in big screen. Text book in proprietary format or kindle whatever. As teacher write stuff on the screen, it can be downloaded.

> We certainly think that a 4K TV display with interactive features isn't that far away, and elements of the huge touchscreens at work and at home will almost certainly appear in the real world someday.

While I certainly would love a large 4K display, I'd want it to hang on the wall, sit back and watch stuff passively--I'm not gonna stand next to it and smear it with fingerprints.

I dont agree. MS should meet me half way in about 10 years... Sigh, Hopefully someone else comes along with software and hardware thats just as good, but withou the one size fits all approach.

It will be interesting to see how data entry, via one's ten fingers on a keyboard is going to work on those huge touch-centric displays. Can companies afford the additional space requirements for those huge displays, over the more traditional-sized monitor? Perhaps Microsoft has decided to gradually withdraw from the general business office arena and move more towards gaming and niche uses.

Microsoft is making giant touch screens, and Google is making glasses that may end up drawing anything on anything, I wonder which one of them is the future

Maybe both, maybe neither.

Personaly, I don't care to wear a display in front of my eye 24/7 and be tracked everywhere. Giant touch screens that have more smarter interaction seems way cooler to me.

I like the kitchen table and even the big screen not there and in a living room; not crazy about those slate Tablets placed on shelves on the walls but I am a minimalist.
The Office 2017 or what it was called though is still the best idea of the future: the guy reading the "newspaper" and the overall GUI portrayed there was unbelievable.

Funny, I envision more of an embedded screen, either implants or Google glasses type technology. Where they compliment each other vs trying to completely replace each other. Imagine your future human powered PC on a contact lens...almost as scary as it is exciting.

The true fact : MS has a lot of captive customer and now it want to expand to another market.

Right now, MS is not giving a crap about corporate user because MS know that corporate user will use Windows because (in most case), it is the only solution available. So instead,, MS is now focusing in the new market of casual users, people that browser internet, play some small games and write some short document.

Economically is a smart move. However, MS is testing the patience of several companies and customers.

For example, Windows Server 2012 is ..... well, it is nothing really new, and most business will stick with 2008, 2008 r2 or even with 2003. And believed me, for a server, there are a lot room to improvement

So, it is not strange why some people feel alienated with Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012

The old MS:
Server, workstation, printer, office work and such
The new MS:
Halo, music, video, angry bird and internet.

Brony said,

So, it is not strange why some people feel alienated with Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012

The old MS:
Server, workstation, printer, office work and such
The new MS:
Halo, music, video, angry bird and internet.

Oh yeah, Microsoft should add a setting to win 8, that let people choose if they want to use their computer for fun, or work. The work mode would remove that silly start screen.

Brony said,
The true fact : MS has a lot of captive customer and now it want to expand to another market.

Right now, MS is not giving a crap about corporate user because MS know that corporate user will use Windows because (in most case), it is the only solution available. So instead,, MS is now focusing in the new market of casual users, people that browser internet, play some small games and write some short document.

Economically is a smart move. However, MS is testing the patience of several companies and customers.

For example, Windows Server 2012 is ..... well, it is nothing really new, and most business will stick with 2008, 2008 r2 or even with 2003. And believed me, for a server, there are a lot room to improvement

So, it is not strange why some people feel alienated with Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012

The old MS:
Server, workstation, printer, office work and such
The new MS:
Halo, music, video, angry bird and internet.

Right. Like I want Server 2003 running my back end today. 2003 was TEN YEARS AGO.

Dot Matrix said,

Right. Like I want Server 2003 running my back end today. 2003 was TEN YEARS AGO.

I am sure that there a lot of people who would want to trade theirs ten years old car with a new one but budget issues, no so compelling reasons to do it etc. make them keep driving what they have.
There is a big difference between "want" to do something and "be able" to do it.

In Microsoft's future version of the office workplace, employees will work on huge touchscreen desks and walls. These products can also be used via voice commands...

Having my arms raised for 8 hours a day does not sound fun. Neither does the thought of my computer executing a command because my colleague sat next to me spoke to his computer a bit too loudly.

Intrinsica said,

Having my arms raised for 8 hours a day does not sound fun. Neither does the thought of my computer executing a command because my colleague sat next to me spoke to his computer a bit too loudly.

last time I pointed out my arms would kill me working 8hrs a day with a touch screen someone ripped me out..... because "touch is the future"..... blah blah blahhh......

Intrinsica said,

Having my arms raised for 8 hours a day does not sound fun. Neither does the thought of my computer executing a command because my colleague sat next to me spoke to his computer a bit too loudly.

I second this. I work with an touch-screen 8 hours 5 days a week and the screen itself is on my head height (I'm about 2m tall), it's a pain to work with after a couple of hours already. Might be better if it was flat down like a table but my work just doesn't support that kind of placement.

Intrinsica said,

Having my arms raised for 8 hours a day does not sound fun. Neither does the thought of my computer executing a command because my colleague sat next to me spoke to his computer a bit too loudly.

I watched the video and there were a lot more formfactors than wall touch.. I saw lots of surfaces, phones and desk type displays as well..

neufuse said,

last time I pointed out my arms would kill me working 8hrs a day with a touch screen someone ripped me out..... because "touch is the future"..... blah blah blahhh......

I have to agree with you. Touch is nice for some things, but it's not useful for everything... Nor would it be productive after using it for hours and hours at work.

Intrinsica said,

Having my arms raised for 8 hours a day does not sound fun. Neither does the thought of my computer executing a command because my colleague sat next to me spoke to his computer a bit too loudly.

The actions people are doing in the videos don't seem like more work than someone who needs to raise their arms during work to do crafts projects. Woodworking isn't that tedious.

But yea its a different use of screen technology than what most desk workers are going to need. You don't type in code on a large wall sized touchscreen, and I don't think Microsoft is expecting you to.

I think Microsoft woke late as infact since last few years, specially after the Apple brought in their iPhone and iPAD, the era of ever larger display with touch screen has started..

So Microsoft seems to be really late to wake and up see the reality..

Matter of fact, new transparent technology and wireless charging, along with fold-able and wearable transparent displays will be drawing our attention in future..

MS vision seems to be back dated

No, this vision has been touted for 10 years by Bill Gates himself at several Keynotes. We are just now seeing how Microsoft will execute on actually getting there. That is what most people don't understand about the break into Metro UI from Desktop UI. It's the first real change that you can see that plots the course into NUIs.