Projectors integral to future tablet devices

The principal developer for Microsoft has said a complex system of projectors and cameras, currently under development, will allow future tablet devices to be no thicker than a sheet of glass.

Bill Buxton said the devices will be the next generation of products that use their pioneering Surface technology. The system, which was launched in 2007, uses image recognition software and cameras to pick up hand gestures and items placed on top of the screen.

He explained that there was currently a tremendous amount of work going into making the technology "radically thinner."

"Right now [Surface] has five cameras in it and a projector and a bunch of other stuff," he said.

"What will happen is that Surface will become no thicker than a sheet of glass. It’s not going to have any cameras or projectors because the cameras will be embedded in the device itself."

In order to do this, he revealed, the company is working on a new type of screen technology. He said, "The best way to think about it is like a big LCD where there’s a fourth pixel in every triad. So there’s red, green, and blue pixels giving you light, and a fourth pixel which is a sensor that will capture stuff."

He predicted that the technology will become standard in homes in the near future.

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