/>
X

Photos: From wine tasting to choosing a mortgage

Microsoft Surface gets hands on in UK
By Tim Ferguson, Contributor on
40152545-1-map.jpg
1 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Microsoft Surface gets hands on in UK

Dave Brown, architectural evangelist at Microsoft's Technology Centre in Reading, demonstrated Microsoft's Surface touchscreen technology at its UK launch in London yesterday.

Third party developers were also on hand to show what Surface applications they've been working on for a number of big names such as Barclays, Emirates, First Direct and Tesco.

silicon.com went along for a closer look at the technology in action.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-2-tescowine1.jpg
2 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Tesco used Surface at one of its Wine Club fairs last year, combining the touchscreen tech with an application developed by EMC Conchango.

The wine glasses are placed on coasters with 'domino tags' on the underside. By reading the tags, Surface can recognise which wine is on which coaster.

Tasters can select the characteristics of the particular wine they are drinking from the options in the centre, and rate it by moving their finger around the score slider next to the coaster.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-3-tescowine3.jpg
3 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

The wines that have been tasted are displayed here with their ratings and characteristics.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-4-windows7tesco.jpg
4 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

EMC Conchango has also developed an online shopping application for Tesco using Windows 7 and touchscreen technology from HP. The technology is likely to be trialled on a limited basis in around six months' time.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-5-firstdirect1.jpg
5 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

At Surface's UK launch, online bank First Direct showed an application it's been developing with partner Splendid to provide information about its offset mortgages in a more interesting way.

The application has been created for the Grand Designs show later in the year, which First Direct is sponsoring. Although not a full demo, this shows how people will be able to choose certain household projects and work out how much they are likely to cost.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-6-firstdirect2.jpg
6 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Once people have selected what household project they want to do - building an extension or new kitchen, for example - from the options available on the Surface app, the software can help work out how to finance the project using a First Direct offset mortgage by allowing users to enter the cost of the project and see the various repayment options.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-7-emirates.jpg
7 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Airline Emirates has worked with developer Infusion to create several Surface applications that are now being used in its business lounge in Dubai airport.

The application shown allows people to view the routes which Emirates flies using the interactive globe and then get information about each destination.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-8-postcard1.jpg
8 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Another Emirates Surface project is this postcard application, where users can choose a basic postcard than add colours to it using the paint application on the right.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-9-postcard2.jpg
9 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Once a postcard has been created, it can be emailed by inputting the details into Surface using the touchscreen keyboard.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-10-carphonewarehouse.jpg
10 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Accenture-Microsoft joint venture Avanade has developed several applications including this one which Carphone Warehouse is using at its flagship store in the Westfield shopping centre in London.

Customers can get information on various products by dragging the items into the centre of the desktop, as well find out what other peripherals are most compatible with their preferred kit.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-11-electronics.jpg
11 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This is an application allowing people to plan where they want to put large electronics items such as televisions or stereos in their home.

The application allows users to move the items around the room and get more information about how to install and use the hardware, although it isn't currently being used commercially.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-12-police1.jpg
12 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Infusion also created this application for Tampa police in Florida to help manage incidents during the Super Bowl last year.

The Surface application allowed police to have a view of the city and to be alerted to events such as crowd disturbances in the area from the airport to the stadium.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-13-barclays.jpg
13 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This application for Barclays, also developed by Infusion, shows Premier account holders the benefits their account provides. It's already being used in the high-tech Barclays branch in Piccadilly, London.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-14-hand.jpg
14 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Here you can see a mirror image of what the Surface technology sees when something comes into contact with the tabletop. It uses five infra-red cameras to detect exactly where an object is.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-15-menu.jpg
15 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This is the Surface menu for navigating between applications. It may become a familiar sight if the application takes off for home use in the future. However, the commercial tables currently cost £8,500, while a developer unit will set you back £10,000.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-16-photos.jpg
16 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Microsoft's Dave Brown showed a few more applications of the Surface technology including the ability for several people to look at and share photos at the same time.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-17-gravity.jpg
17 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Here the black disk controls the direction of gravity, and affects items on the screen accordingly. Here, the gravity feature has dragged them to the bottom of the screen. On a practical note, the gravity feature means the screen can be orientated to face the direction that the person is working from.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40152545-18-light.jpg
18 of 18 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

The same can be done to show the direction of light hitting objects as shown above.

silicon.com got a first lookat Surface in October 2007 but it's only now that Microsoft is launching the technology in the UK.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

Related Galleries

Holiday wallpaper for your phone: Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, and winter scenes
Holiday lights in Central Park background

Related Galleries

Holiday wallpaper for your phone: Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, and winter scenes

21 Photos
Winter backgrounds for your next virtual meeting
Wooden lodge in pine forest with heavy snow reflection on Lake O'hara at Yoho national park

Related Galleries

Winter backgrounds for your next virtual meeting

21 Photos
Holiday backgrounds for Zoom: Christmas cheer, New Year's Eve, Hanukkah and winter scenes
3D Rendering Christmas interior

Related Galleries

Holiday backgrounds for Zoom: Christmas cheer, New Year's Eve, Hanukkah and winter scenes

21 Photos
Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza
img-8825

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza

26 Photos
A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex
img-9792-2

Related Galleries

A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex

22 Photos
Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup
shutterstock-1024665187.jpg

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

8 Photos
Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'
Full of promises!

Related Galleries

Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'

8 Photos