New Surface blog and video hints at lots more third-party accessories

When Microsoft announced the new Surface and Surface Pro 2 tablets on Monday, they also revealed plans for new thinner and backlit versions of their Touch and Type Covers, and a unique Music Mix Cover that's designed to let people quickly remix tunes with a physical add-on combined with an app. That certainly opens up the idea that the Surface could accept more and different types of add-ons.

In a new entry on the Surface blog, accompanied by the above previously released video, Microsoft reveals that it showed off the new Surface tablets earlier this month to a small group of students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. Basically, Microsoft allowed the students to go nuts and come up with lots of different concepts for physical additions based on the Surface design.

The video offers very brief glimpses of what the students came up with, including a solar power panel for the tablet, a game pad, a business suite, an artist's tablet, an interactive toy, a "Guitar Hero"-like controller, and many more. There are even glimpses of some kind of wrist-based device that could interact with an add-on.

It's currently unknown if any of these concepts will be turned into real products, but if Microsoft can come up with a Music Mix Cover, it surely can do lots more. We are promised that a longer version of the video will be released next week so hopefully we will get more details on what the student group at the Art Center College of Design came up with for their Surface accessory concepts.

Source: Microsoft

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It would have been cool if somehow they could comeup with some sort of flexible layout cover. so application could control the layout of the touch pad. with some sort of light indication

Assuming they have enough bandwidth to do something like this, imagine in the future, there could be an eink display as the typing surface, and the controls could change and remap as you switch apps... Surface 4 maybe?

what would be cool is a cover with tiny leds embedded everywhere,and you can customize the look of the cover with software,so depending on the application,the cover will change,considering they have a whole bunch of sensors in there.

Yeah, the tri-fold piano blade would be awesome. Think if the possibilities of being able to create virtual musical keyboard with different sound modules.

I think this is pretty cool what they're doing here. Pretty creative and showing that there aren't many limitations as to what else can be done with the Surface. Looking forward to future updates on this. I think the DJ board (while for a limited scope of people) is a good example of what they're trying to accomplish.

If only they could get their Windows Store together. I know they're working on it.

The idea of the blades is very interesting. I can see companies, if they open it up with a SDK anyways, selling a specific blade/cover with their app. So that you have most if not all of the controls on the blade/cover and not on the screen/app UI. Should allow for some more complex apps to happen while still keeping their UI clean.

GP007 said,
The idea of the blades is very interesting. I can see companies, if they open it up with a SDK anyways, selling a specific blade/cover with their app. So that you have most if not all of the controls on the blade/cover and not on the screen/app UI. Should allow for some more complex apps to happen while still keeping their UI clean.
Skylander's Giants is a great example of Real -> Digital. I could see kids games showing up like that.

aruak said,
00:42, They're using a Mac +) !

Because they are not stuck behind fanboy walls preventing them innovating.

uxo22 said,

Because they are not stuck behind fanboy walls preventing them innovating.

Plus its not like Microsoft hasn't ever written software for Apple before. I mean that would be absurd right?

Right?