Microsoft Research's PlayAnywhere: A surface computer for the rest of us?

Summary:PlayTable finally saw the light of day in the form of Microsoft's Surface multi-touch table. But there's a related technology that's been under development by Microsoft Research -- "PlayAnywhere" -- which still has yet to go commercial. PlayAnywhere sounds like a cheaper way to deliver some of the same promises of the Surface system.

PlayTable finally saw the light of day in the form of Microsoft's Surface multi-touch table. But there's a related technology that's been under development by Microsoft Research -- "PlayAnywhere" -- which still has yet to go commercial.

At this week's Faculty Research Summit, Microsoft researchers showed off, yet again, PlayAnywhere. Here's how the IDG News Service described what was shown:

"Andy Wilson, also a company researcher, is developing a device that could serve as a less expensive form of the surface computer that Microsoft recently unveiled. That computer will cost thousands of dollars. Wilson's invention uses a projector to display an application onto any surface, like a table top. Two infrared lasers pointed at the surface would allow users to grab and drag items with their hands."

(Wilson, by the way, is also one of the main brains behind Surface/PlayTable.)

If and when Microsoft brings PlayAnywhere to market, what form would you be interested in seeing it take?

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.