A Closer Look at the Microsoft Sphere (Video)

by Reads (1,737)

With touch technology becoming more and more popular and the thing to have, it’s a no brainer that Microsoft would take it to the next level. They managed to take the technology used in the Microsoft Surface and put it to use in a sphere shape.

Credit: Microsoft Sphere Research Group

Microsoft’s Surface is making it’s debut in some big city hotels across the U.S. and in Las Vegas. No telling when or if the Sphere will make it prime-time though. It’s a very interesting concept and it brings big hopes for PC touch technology.


Video: Microsoft Sphere

 

Key points mentioned in the video:

  • Photo Browser: Basic drag-and-drop movements as well as the two-finger resizing of photos that users come to expect from multitouch.
  • Video Browser: Videos can be manipulated exactly the same way as photos, both when stopped or while playing.
  • Object Auto-Rotation: Pushing an image with a finger not centered on the image will cause it to rotate while it slides away.
  • Circular Menu: The menu for the Sphere’s software, accessible by holding down both hands on top of the Sphere for a second. In this video, the menu contains the following options: RoundTable, Videos, Photos, Painting, Pong, Globe, and Navigation.
  • Send-to-Dark-Side: Placing a hand facedown on an object will send it over to the opposite side of the Sphere.
  • Live omni-directional camera: The Sphere can provide an outward view outside of itself, which includes its surroundings and the user.

Part of the Sphere technology is similar to the Surface and TouchWall. You can manipulate objects on a 3D surface instead of 2D. The video also demonstrates Painting, Pong and more.

 

It seems Microsoft may have struck gold with this technology just like the Surface. Many consumers and businesses like to be able to touch their computers, phones, etc. The hands-on experience is one-in-a-million. It’s just like self checking-in at the airport or a hotel. The Sphere even comes in different sizes, so this may be a huge plus for business use.

Further reading:

ArsTechnica post on the subject

Microsoft Research information page on Sphere

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