I've written from time to time about Apple and their rumoured tablet devices, applications for tablet PC's, multi-touch and Surface, and all those touchy-feely concepts we've been hearing about, but when do we get to actually see them?
Microsoft has recently kicked forward their Software+Services, which for the you-and-me audience is a "Web 2.0 online application with a bit of client software somewhere" including Office Live, Windows Live and a future Windows Strata (codenamed 'Cloud' as mentioned here, here and here).
A video has come to light which shows this new Software+Services in some sort of action, although we may not see why for a while. The interesting thing though, is they're showing off a new Tablet PC prototype with a video demonstrating a new educational tool. Although the graphics look pretty swish, it seems to do what the bloke demonstrating it says, although the YouTube quality of it doesn't bode too well for it. For us viewing, it's something we can say, "ooh, shiny" but, "shame there's probably more chance a bunch of Bebo users to be the first people to get in touch with extra-terrestrial life than the mass of scientists and telescopic power on the planet."
Tablet PC's at the moment are a great way for students to interact with models, bodies, even theories. Using the power of hands-on computing, it can transform how a course is taught and evolve the entire learning process. Undergraduate medical students can see a heart, touch it, move it around and see what it looks like up close. Electronics students can manipulate circuitry and see where paths don't connect. Architects could even be able to use the force of their finger to simulate a gust of wind and the effect it has on a building structure.
It's clear to see that Microsoft and other companies are creating new technologies every day, new hardware and prototypes. What annoys the hell out of me is that the application running on this new tablet concept will probably never see the light of day, even though it could transform how students learn a subject.
So why can't these concepts that are shown in videos like these be released? Why are we not using the power of touch computing to enhance how we learn? If you work at Microsoft, get in touch - I want to shout at you.