As of 12:01 EST, we know the identity of Microsoft’s mystery guest. It seems that Redmond is launching Surface — an interactive “desk” that can sense styli and objects and interact with other devices using RFID and other wireless protocols. Told ya so. It will be available in Harrahs and Starwood Casinos as well as in select T-Mobile stores. That’s right — you can’t buy it, but you will be able to play with it soon. Clearly the tech isn’t ready for our own home office desks just yet, but it will be fascinating to watch this thing play out over time. Let’s hope this isn’t another Origami.
+ Direct interaction. Users can actually “grab” digital information with their hands, interacting with content by touch and gesture, without the use of a mouse or keyboard.
+ Multi-touch. Surface computing recognizes many points of contact simultaneously, not just from one finger like a typical touch-screen, but up to dozens of items at once.
+ Multi-user. The horizontal form factor makes it easy for several people to gather around surface computers together, providing a collaborative, face-to-face computing experience.
+ Object recognition. Users can place physical objects on the surface to trigger different types of digital responses, including the transfer of digital content.
Now that all that is over with, I can go get some beauty rest. Some new Palm thingie awaits us tomorrow morning!