Microsoft Surface – Bad Science Fiction Movies Have Ruined This – Or Maybe It Was The Apple iPhone

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Have you seen Microsoft Surface yet?
Check it out here:

I had originally seen this type of technology demoed at the TED Conference. It’s pretty amazing and the possibilities and implications (especially for Marketers) seem endless. In the teaser video above there are already a handful of marketing applications. You’ll note that these are not ads, but rather content as media – one of my longstanding crystal ball statements that traditional interruption ads will make way for content as the the currency of advertising.
What saddens me about watching the Microsoft Surface teaser video on YouTube or visiting the official Microsoft Surface website is how jaded I’ve become when game-changing technology is introduced. For Microsoft Surface, I am a little ho-hum because my initial gut reaction was, “yeah, you can do that on an Apple iPhone which is something you can hold in your hand.”
How jaded have I become? The Apple iPhone isn’t even out yet and I’m already jaded as if it’s been a long-standing technology and Microsoft is lagging (which is, simply, not the case).
My other general “bleh” about this teaser video is the marketing production value. It looked like one of those scenes from a bad science fiction movie where the lead character comes home after a hard day of work and flicks on the TV, and this is the type of ad they get. I guess the only part missing was a dog running into the shot and getting its paws on the Microsoft Surface as the pet owner shakes its finger at the pet while laughing.
That being said, this type of new technology does have to be displayed in its simplest form so the everyday person “gets it.”
Seriously, imagine having one of these Microsoft Surfaces in your home or office (or both).
Anybody else getting really excited about the next wave of Marketing and Communications?


  1. I’m excited about both of these technologies and can only imagine some of the possibilities. I think it will be awhile before either of them are at my disposal.
    At the mesh conference in Toronto last week, Rachel Sklar talked about how being at a computer is a solitary activity while print can be social (i.e. you can take a book or newspaper anywhere and read while you converse with others around you.)
    From what I’ve seen of Microsoft Surface, it will change all that. People will be able to share their online experiences together in one place at the same time. The possibilities are endless.

  2. Even cooler from TED — the newest Microsoft innovation/acquisition, “Photosynth.” This is the Internet in 5 years. We will all be building services around this. Anyone who doesn’t will be left behind…

  3. Hey,
    Actually I’ve seen the early prototype of MS Surface at CASCON 2004, so when the first prototype of iPhone came out, I have the same reaction as you did, “bleh” 🙂
    However, both technologies did get me excited in a second glance. Afterall, it’s exciting to see science fiction materialized and integrated into our daily lives.

  4. actually, you can’t do that on an iPhone. Agreed, that the multi-touch technology can potentially be a game changer – and Apple beat them to it (marketing wise) – the fact that the table (supposedly) recognizes that you put on it and interacts with it, is amazing.
    A type of “augmented reality” if you will.
    However, I agree that the video is on the “cheezy” side.

  5. I have to agree, Mitch, I’m just as jaded as you. As far as the food service application that they displayed, I’ve already heard of restaurants in the US that have touch screen consoles at the tables for ordering. Granted, it’s nothing that’s comparable to Surface, but I’m still not stoked
    Besides, it’s Microsoft. How often is it going to freeze, need a driver or update, and just generally f**k up? (That’s being jaded).

  6. The main difference between Microsoft and Apple is that Apple is actually releasing something we can taste. Not just another sci-fi concept. Nintendo did the same with the Wii, and it’s great. Tangible UIs are coming.
    I hope this is a signal for a great extinction: the extinction of BUTTONS. We won’t miss them. Seriously, one can see in this evolution the end of the “Matrix” model (men swallowed by machines), and the event of something more humanistic. Machines are showing more empathy toward our physical nature, they are more complacent to our sense of nuance (approximation ?) and to our lack of logic.
    I think technology wil not augment reality — what nonsense is that ? reality isn’t big enough ? — it will augment our body, senses and mind. Like any tools do. Technology could be a halo of tools around our physical person.

  7. Sorry Max, I didn’t intend to argue on words. I’m just not very comfortable with these sensational terms that hardly dissimulate poor experiences.
    My point was just to notice that, in my opinion, more and more machines are designed to acknowledge our physical nature. The consequence would be that, instead of immersing ourselves into technology, technology is going to support and surround our human abilities.

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