Microsoft has unveiled a new touch-sensitive coffee table-shaped computer called “Surface”.
- Designed to do away with the need for a traditional mouse and keyboard, users can instead use their fingers to operate the computer.
- Also designed to interact with mobile phones placed on the surface, Microsoft says it will initially sell the unit to corporate customers.
- These will include hotels, casinos, phone stores and restaurants.
- So-called “multi-touch” interfaces – which allow the user to “gesture” with several fingers at once to manipulate data, rather than relying on a mouse and menus – have been making waves in tech circles for some time.
- With a 30-inch screen, Surface will initially sell for between $5,000 and $10,000 (Â£2,525-Â£5,050).
- However, Microsoft said it aimed to produce cheaper versions for homes within three to five years.
- We see this as a multibillion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror, said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft has had a mixed record recently with new consumer products.