More details emerge on the Microsoft Sphere

More details emerge on the Microsoft Sphere

Summary: On July 29 at its Faculty Research Summit, Microsoft is expected to allow attendees some hands-on time with the Microsoft Sphere. Thanks to one of Microsoft's partners, here's a little more information on what is behind the globe-like, multi-touch device.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware, Microsoft
5

On July 29 at its Faculty Research Summit, Microsoft is expected to allow attendees some hands-on time with the Microsoft Sphere.

The Sphere comes from the same Microsoft Researchers that developed the Surface, a k a "PlayTable." The Surface is currently a coffee-table-sized product available for key commercial markets only. Microsoft officials have said the company is looking to create consumer-sized and -priced versions of the Surface at some point in the future.

Microsoft has provided some of its employees, customers, partners and members of the media with an early peek at the Sphere. (I was not among them.) But thanks to one of Microsoft's partners, here's a little more information on what is behind the globe-like, multi-touch device.

"The sphere itself is made by Global Imagination," CEO Mike Foody told me via e-mail. "We've been collaborating with Microsoft R&D for them to add the multi-touch capability. And yes, with the Magic Planet you can 'zoom in' using Microsoft Virtual Earth (and Nasa World Wind).

"The Magic Planet has a varety of tools, including one that enables end-users to build media mashups - add links around the globe, and when they're clicked, you can show photos; play silde shows, movies and YouTube videos; etc."

The Magic Planet, as described on Global Imagination's Web site, is a spherical, digital-video globe "We also supply software, content and services that enable you to present global information and promotional media in the most compelling and interactive way possible," according to the site.

At least for now, the Global Imagination's site makes no mention of Microsoft as a partner or customer for its technology. Maybe that will change as of tomorrow.

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • re: More details emerge on Microsoft Sphere

    How about working on making an OS that'll make us forget Vista instead of this?

    Your priorities are all wrong.
    itanalyst2@...
    • How about the "big picture" or at least a lil' bigger picture?

      Stop agonizing over the glove compartment. Instead, concentrate on the rest of the car, or better yet, the road ahead.
      What do you know about priorities? Using Win2K by any chance?
      Gruffydd
  • A spherical display device? - HOW PRACTICAL!

    I must be missing something here!
    Is it not easier to use a flat display
    and rotate the view in software
    with an input device of your
    choice. Sure maybe a touch
    surface tablet but why would I
    want the hassle of physically
    rotating the display device when I
    could just rotate the view? I must
    be missing some perspective on
    how this thing would be useful?
    raycote
    • Proof of Concept

      I think it's more of a 'look what we <i>could</i> do' kind of thing...
      CreepinJesus
  • RE: More details emerge on the Microsoft Sphere

    Wow ,, Massage abandoned created by to go over to all of the web-based company and as a consequence envisioned Providers stage Since i really really enjoyed as well. [url=http://www.nfl-estore.com/]saints jerseys[/url],[url=http://www.nfl-estore.com/hines-ward-jersey-youth-hines-ward-jersey]hines ward jersey[/url],[url=http://www.nfl-estore.com/matt-ryan-jersey-pink-matt-ryan-jersey]matt ryan jersey[/url],[url=http://www.nfl-estore.com/bo-jackson-jersey-women-bo-jackson-jersey-authentic]bo jackson jersey[/url],[url=http://www.nfl-estore.com/jack-lambert-jersey-pittsburgh-steelers-jack-lambert-jersey-steelers]jack lambert jersey[/url], I really don't in many diseases be affected by observations then again just want to with this location, brilliant info'I may well locate web site earth web. Maintain this important exceptional achieve the load
    dsfwrryd53-24353618659562135632120732714934