CNN has been showcasing their 'multitouch wall' all through the U.S. Presidential primaries, and now MSNBC has their own new tech with which to fight back: Microsoft's innovative Surface computer.
Microsoft has been providing Surface units on a limited basis to commercial establishments like select AT&T stores and Sheraton hotel lobbies. This is the first time, however, that the general public gets to see one in actual use, and it's pretty interesting. There are two main applications being used, with the possibility of more being added later. One shows a map of the United States, with electoral votes being displayed in color-coded states for one of the two major U.S. Presidential candidates. The other application allows the user to showcase so-called 'battleground states', and easily modify vote counts to show how they might change an election.
The coverage really shows how Surface can be used to both display and modify large amounts of data in a very approachable manner. MSNBC is using an interesting feature of Surface that is sometimes hard to see the benefit of: the ability of the device to recognize actionable objects placed upon it. In this case, small tiles, each emblazoned with a month, can be placed on the map to instantly reflect polling data for that month. It's very slick.
You can see video of Microsoft's Surface in action on MSNBC below.
Surface comes off as very fast, very configurable, and very easy to use. The display tracks motion almost instantaneously. Whether the Surface units are ready for general release is a debate for another time, but it's obvious that Microsoft's efforts are really starting to pay off.
Please note that any possible political views expressed in the videos above are not necessarily those of this site or its parent company.
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