Friday, May 1, 2009

Microsoft's Surface at MEEC

I had the pleasure of going to MEEC today (Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium) in Baltimore. While I was there, I visited Microsoft's booth in the vendor area where they were demonstrating a new product, called "Surface". Essentially the Surface is a small interactive tabletop where a group of people could gather around it for sharing or learning. Touching the surface of this device reads the location of your finger, so if you touch an object, it orients toward you. If the person on the opposite side of the table touches the same object, it orients towards them. This eliminates having "bad seats" around the Surface. I could completely see this being used in elementary classrooms. It's the perfect size for little ones and for small group instruction. It will be interesting to see how this device plays a part in education in the future. The only disadvantage I see right now is cost. It looks like a complete unit plus installation costs $14,000. Check out a demo at the Microsoft's official site. I also have footage from MEEC of the Surface highlighted below. What do you think about this tool?

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