Microsoft’s British researchers are literally bringing another dimension to the company’s Surface touchscreens, writes Barry Collins in Los Angeles.
The original Surface tables are one of the chief attractions here at PDC, with attendees clambering to get their hands on the dozen or so tables dotted around the conference halls.
However, the highlight of today’s keynote from Microsoft Research was a demonstration of a new Surface prototype called SecondLight, which is being developed at the company’s labs in Cambridge.
The new table projects an image through the table itself, so that any translucent material (such as tracing paper or perspex) held above the Surface screen displays a different image to what you see on the table’s display.
This means you can have a satellite image of a town on the table, and have the street names projected on to a piece of paper that the user holds above the map. Or you could have a photo of a car, with the tracing paper displaying images of its innards as you pan the paper across the screen. Microsoft described the technology as a “magic lens”.