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Microsoft readies new Surface Hub conferencing system

Microsoft is developing new Windows 10 hardware, including a new conferencing system with Perceptive Pixel multitouch displays and augmented reality glasses known as HoloLens.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is readying a new large-screen Perceptive Pixel display-based conferencing system that it has branded as Surface Hub.

Company officials showed off the 84-inch, 4K Surface Hub during its Windows 10 consumer preview event in Redmond, Wash.

Microsoft execs said late last year the company was gearing up to mass produce Perceptive Pixel displays. hinting that some kind of new versions were imminent.

No Surface Hub pricing or availability information was shared during the keynote. But Microsoft officials did share a few details about the coming Surface Hub set ups.

Surface Hub will be available in two sizes: 55 inch and 84 inch. Custom versions of Skype for Business (a k a Lync) and OneNote will be integrated into the Windows 10 shell to make use of the built-in cameras, sensors and mics.

The screens will work with ink and touch, as current Perceptive Pixel displays do. The Surface Hub will include digital white boarding, instant remote conferencing and the ability for multiple users to share and edit content on the screen from any device.

At the end of a meeting, shared notes are sent to all the conference participants, clearing the way for subsequent meetings and participants.

The Surface Hub wasn't the only new Microsoft hardware demonstrated at the Windows 10 event. Microsoft execs also demonstrated what the company is calling the HoloLens.

The HoloLens is augmented reality glasses that will be available in the Windows 10 time frame, officials said, which I take to mean fall of 2015. It is meant to supplement real world scenarios, including but not limited to gaming, with holograms.

HoloLens is the technology formerly codenamed Project B, with the B standing for Baraboo. Alex Kipman, who heads the Analog team, a special projects group at Microsoft, and his team are responsible for natural user interface technologies, including the Kinect and HoloLens.

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