Tuesday, 17 Mar, 2009 Technology

Second Light - the Second Generation Multi-touch Computer from Microsoft


At the South by SouthWest Festival visitors were told that in just two or three years they will witness the appearance of a second generation Surface - a computing gadget from the software giant Microsoft. Currently, according to the developer Joe Olsen, the device is in the development stage. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Olsen works for a company named Phenomblue that writes applications for the Surface.

Surface represents a multi-touch computer that resembles a coffee table. The device features a flat screen that is able to read multi-touch gestures. Surface may also read content found on printed material that is placed onto the screen. This became possible with the help of five cameras installed inside the device.

When developing Surface, engineers took into consideration enterprise, tourism and public-facing solutions.

The second generation of the multi-touch screen is called Second Light. The device is going to be developed on the first model and feature a second projector within the table computer. This projector will be able to project pictures onto a layer above the face of the screen. In fact, Surface 2 will be able to superimpose secondary pictures above the images on the screen. For example it might overlay satellite picture over a street map, reports News BBC.

In addition, the device will include infrared sensors. With their help the device will be able to read gestures and motions without having to touch the screen. Erik Klimczak, who holds the position of creative director of Clarity Consulting, a company that also produces applications for the Surface, mentioned that he hopes the next generation device will include HD cameras.

"Right now they are limited to how much detail they can pick up," he told people that attended the conference of web developers.

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