Where for Art Thou Surface?

picture-72I’m a huge fan of Microsoft’s Surface and I seem to keep seeing the technology show up in movies that I watch on airplanes. This BBC news story says that a second generation is coming but is at least a couple years away from commerical use.

My only hands-on experience with Surface was in the lobby of the Sheraton in downtown Seattle. The technology was cool but the particular implementation fell well short of its potential. There’s something of a missed opportunity here so far. I continue to think about kiosks deployed in the real world that allow people to find directions, locations and deals.

There are several digital OOH/outernet networks that could potentially deploy something like this. Imagine a kiosk in chain stores (e.g., Starbucks), shopping malls and so on. These could display ads or video when “idle.” But they could become interactive when people touch them to retrieve information.

Google also has a similar initiative. (Not sure who’s got a/the patent.)

Building out a network of Surface kiosks would be potentially costly, which is why I’m suggesting that one of these OOH networks, which is already established, take it on. But Microsoft is also opening its own stores, which would be a great place to showcase surface. Now imagine this: rather than a dreary conventional retail outlet for software, what if Microsoft created a cafe environment that also had software, where all the “tables” showcased Surface?

Pretty interesting, no?

2 Responses to “Where for Art Thou Surface?”

  1. simonbaptist Says:

    For some more fuel to get you thinking on Surface:

    Here’s a story from the Guardian about the Microsoft Retail lab in Redmond: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/feb/19/microsoft-store-preview

    Demo from FASTforward about Surface being used in the Enterprise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUQWVpqcuaE

    And from that last link, you can get pretty caught up as there’s lots of nifty videos (think I saw a coffee shop eg) and also watch for the Sphere ones…

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Thanks for the links

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