Laying the Cards on the Table in the GBM Forums

Playtable4There’s always some good discussion bouncing around in the Forums, but some discussions bounce along with a little more life in them than others. That is certainly true in this thread about Microsoft’s recent Surface Technology announcement. Lots of oohs and aaahs, and lots of predictions on how this kind of technology can be used in the future. Most of that discussion centers on potential business applications. And not everyone sees things eye to eye on that topic. Mark “Sumocat” Sumimoto disagrees with a majority of the participants about the business application of the new Playtable and Surface in general. He’s waging a bit of a solitary battle in the debate thus far, but he’s laid out some very logical and well reasoned arguments on his position, as he looks beyond the hype. Here’s an example:

I would go a step further and suggest their proposed business applications are downright faulty. For any of the three, the same results can be achieved using a large conventional touchscreen and RFID reader and/or barcode scanner (assuming Surface is not capable of magically identifying a Happy Meal toy by the way it sits on the screen).

For example, it wouldn’t be that tough to retool a supermarket self-checkout into a “Brand Differentiation” station. Just bring three cameras to the station, scan the barcodes, and compare the specs on the touchscreen. Likewise, sit a Happy Meal toy on top of an RFID reader, and scroll through the pile of related crap on the touchscreen. These things can be done without the magic of Surface.

Granted, Surface allows for very cool manipulation options, like the resizing and rotation of photos and videos, but when am I going to do that at McBurgerBox? The business applications just don’t match the demos.

If Microsoft’s Surface Technology has aroused your curiosity, you might want to head over to this thread and take a look at some of the thinking going on.