Slash Gear reports that the company has filed a patent for an ‘interactive integrated display and processing device’ that uses projectors and sensors, not (expensive) touch screens.
Surface was originally designed to be a coffee table that doubled as a touch-screen computer. It then morphed into a traditional two-in-one tablet, evolved into a giant interactive whiteboard and, now, looks set to be a table again all over again.
“Given the pervasiveness and familiarity of touch screens, you’d think it was a no-brainer to create a touch-enabled display the size of a computer table,” Slash Gear’s JC Torres writes.
“But the costs of creating such a large screen were just far too high and the yield probably too low. This would translate to a prohibitively expensive price tag, thereby limiting such a product’s appeal, reach, and sales. Just look at the Surface Hub.”
However, Microsoft’s table idea isn’t new. “It has been used before, even in existing products. It basically involves two things,” Torres said.
“The first is a computing device that projects the screen, as well as the interface, on a usually flat surface. The second is a bunch of sensors that detect movement and gestures. Again, we’ve seen that setup before, from Microsoft’s own experiments as well a something like the Sony Xperia Projector.”