Remember all the rage and discussion when Microsoft first demoed Microsoft Surface years ago? Yes, it was the stuff of dreams back then. In CES 2011, Microsoft showed off a vastly updated implementation which was powered by a much slimmer unit with far better processing, scanning and interpretation technologies. Unknown at that point of time was that it's actually a collaboration between Microsoft and Samsung Electronics which made use of Microsoft Surface 2.0 software (a mulit-touch interactive platform written to be run on Windows 7 OS) while the hardware knowhow was made possible by a 40-inch HD touch-enabled screen. Dubbed the Samsung SUR40, it's improved physical aspects and recognition capabilities made it a possibility for commercial usage needs for advanced high-tech interactivity in the service heavy industries. Late last year, it was made available for pre-order in Singapore and sever other countries at an estimated cost of under US$9000 - or at least that's what was conveyed back then.
Having followed the news and seeing the Samsung SUR40 in various stages of its development lifespan, today it's finally being made available for sale and we had the good fortune again to be invited to the launch of the Samsung SUR40. The SUR40 was meant to be deployed in busy, public areas for interactive advertisements, information kiosks and even in educational and medical institutions. Its 40-inch full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels resolution) display is fully protected by tough Gorilla Glass. Made especially for heavy touch usage in the mentioned environments, you can understand why the panel was given the Gorilla Glass treatment. However, it is technology underneath the glass that makes this product possible and we're not even talking about the PC-like hardware running off regular notebook parts.
The SUR40 has what is called PixelSense technology and can detect up to about 50 simultaneous touch points all over the display. What's more, its recognizes fingers, hands and objects placed on the screen, enabling vision-based interaction to empower people to share, collaborate and explore together. This unique touch sensing technology does not rely on cameras, or traditional capacitive touch technology, but instead relies on infrared LEDs and detects with integrated sensors. This allows the SUR40 to capture images and orientation of the touch rather than just shapes, thus giving developers more control over what to identify, recognize and act upon. We saw a demonstration of how the software can be programmed to capture tags printed on cards, even when the entire card was detected.
Right now, the SUR40 is targeted at businesses that seek to draw their customers into an interactive environment, instead of just giving boring individual presentations or static displays. If the possibilities sound intriguing for your business the SUR40 is ready for purchase starting from today. The only drawback we can foresee is, even if you did buy one of these 50kg (with leg supports) interactive display table tops (which is retailing at an estimated US$11,000 to US$13,000), you'd still have to wait a good couple of months before your unique application can be developed and deployed specifically for your needs.
For more information, you can also check out the Samsung's product page on this new interactivity tool.