Oct 17, 2008

Time for More Touch! Part Two: Microsoft's "Oahu", a hypothetical (?), affordable version of the Surface multi-touch table..

Long Zheng, from the I Started Something blog, was privy to a survey from Microsoft about "Oahu" (via someone named Kerien).

The following description of Oahu is a quote from Long Zheng's website, and reportedly was the introductory section of Microsoft's survey:

"The following questions refer to a computing device called “Oahu” that has an innovative multi-touch screen. Oahu is a flat screen that sits horizontally like a table top. You can interact with Oahu by touching the screen, instead of using a mouse, and more than one person can interact with Oahu at the same time. You and others can move objects on the screen with your hands and touch icons to open up programs, games, or music. People using the device can also use their fingertips to expand and shrink objects on the screen. The screen recognizes people’s hand movements and touches and reacts accordingly. You can bring up an on-screen keyboard to input information. Oahu also works with other devices (such as digital cameras, cell phones, and MP3 players) by getting information from or sending information to them. Oahu is on with no waiting time to start up. Oahu can come as a freestanding table, placed into a piece of furniture, or built into a countertop. The type of Oahu devices we are asking about today are not portable but if they are furniture or tables, they can be placed anywhere in your home.

mmmm.... sounds just like a Surface....

Photo via I Started Something

The price of Oahu quoted in the survey? $1,499.00. A substantial savings, considering that the price of Microsoft's Surface is $10,000.00.

This price approaches the affordable range for schools. I wonder if any questions in the survey addressed the learning aspects of the Oahu, other than helping children with homework. With the upcoming Windows 7 OS and its multi-touch capabilities, I'm sure we'll be seeing the spread of this technology.

Long Zheng is working on a Business Commerce and Multimedia Systems double degree at
Monash University in Australia. His purpose in blogging is to be on the cutting edge of first-breaking news related to technology.

For more information about Windows 7, see the Engineering Windows 7 blog.

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