Microsoft Surface goes mobile?

Well, not exactly, but Microsoft Surface might play a role in changing what we consider mobile technology.   Rather than carrying our own independent, mobile devices, Surface could remove the need to carry an iPod, cell phone, laptop, PDA, and many different batteries and chargers.  Similar to the notion of the Google Desktop– not simply a search oriented application but a new way of accessing all of our information when on the road.  Of course this all sounds a little Popular Science and year 2025, but the idea is plausible.

Think of all of the different portable applications that exist for users on a USB thumb drive.  People long to be connected to their mobile device, but like being able to walk out the door empty handed.  While I doubt we’ll ever see a time when we discard our favorite gadgets, Microsoft Surface does provide the potential to be more connected and less dependent on our own devices.

I recently had the opportunity to play around with Microsoft Surface at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.  There are several Surface tables located in the Rio’s iBar, host of the exclusive debut of Microsoft Surface.  To my surprise, there were only a few other people sitting and enjoying what Microsoft Surface has to offer.

Check out this quick 2 minute video of a few interactions with Microsoft Surface:

Positive Surface Observations:

  • Very entertaining and engaging.
  • Easy to use– even my mother picked up how to operate it right away.
  • The games included were well designed.
  • The map feature was outstanding.  Most of our time was spent looking at the different sites we had seen or visited.
  • The iFlirt and camera functionality was very cool.  It was neat being able to see the other Surface tables around the bar.
  • The tabletop was comfortable to the touch.

Negative Surface Observations:

  • The table we played with was too low to the ground.
  • The rectangular shape always made one person feel like they were looking at things upside-down.  There needs to be a simple, easy way to rotate the view of some static screens– rather than push the corner button and log in/out.
  • There were a few buggy programs, and a few things crashed (to be expected).
  • More haptic feedback such as vibrating when touched would be useful.
  • The drinks at the bar cost too much!

No doubt about it, Microsoft Surface will be a major player in the future of our technological lives.  As it stands now, Surface is merely an entertainment device.  From an educator’s perspective, Surface, like the Kage Roi system, has the ability to revolutionize how students learn and interact with new information.  Surface could be used in hospitals or doctors’ offices to log in when you arrive for your appointment, research your illness when waiting (you might want to use hand sanitizer), or view your newborn in the nursery.  Hopefully this tool will find its way out of the bars and restaurants and into the places where it can be helpful and maker our lives easier.

For a little more Surface, check out GottaBeMobile’s coverage.

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