Oahu: Microsoft Surface for the Masses?

A recent Microsoft survey is quizzing participants on the idea of a table-top computing device codenamed “Oahu”, which would offer the same multitouch input like surface but in a far more compact format.

“The following questions refer to a computing device called “Oahu” that has an innovative multi-touch screen. Oahu is a flat screen that sits horizontally like a table top. You can interact with Oahu by touching the screen, instead of using a mouse, and more than one person can interact with Oahu at the same time. You and others can move objects on the screen with your hands and touch icons to open up programs, games, or music. People using the device can also use their fingertips to expand and shrink objects on the screen. The screen recognizes people’s hand movements and touches and reacts accordingly. You can bring up an on-screen keyboard to input information. Oahu also works with other devices (such as digital cameras, cell phones, and MP3 players) by getting information from or sending information to them. Oahu is on with no waiting time to start up. Oahu can come as a freestanding table, placed into a piece of furniture, or built into a countertop. The type of Oahu devices we are asking about today are not portable but if they are furniture or tables, they can be placed anywhere in your home” Microsoft Oahu description.

Microsoft describe Oahu as being a non-portable flat display that sits horizontally like the Surface.  As with the original, multiple touch-points and gestures are recognized; it also synchronizes with mobile devices placed upon it and has casual gaming functionality.

Users responding to the survey are asked to rate their interest in its features, and how likely they would be to buy such a device should Oahu reach the market.  Microsoft even suggest a target price of $1,499, which seems like a decent price point for the market.

Of course, research doesn’t necessarily mean actual products are going to follow, but given the public interest in Surface and the fact that Microsoft are releasing the SDK and running developer sessions devoted to it at PDC this month, it looks a little more possible. Also they recently added touch to their MSDN documention.

[via iStartedSomething]


Quote “Of course, research doesn’t necessarily mean actual product”

So it will take ages before this is actually a product.

What would people be using it for at home? Rotating and scaling holiday pictures to show to friends? That’s so 2005. If you want it to be a successful product it should have a purpose and the purpose of entertaining by placing with images doesn’t cut it.

A laptop is perfectly capable of showing holiday pictures.

ps: how about a name that you can actually pronounce… Oahu sounds to me like something you hear when you kick a orangoutang in the nuts

Harry, It’s all about getting multitouch into home too. It’s not only about photo app, there is a lot of potential in multitouch games and entertaining at home (with kids or friends). By lowering price more people will be able to afford it.

hahah “kick a orangoutang in the nuts"…
Its not like M$ is good at actually creating something original smile

“Microsoft Ohruaaofa running Windows 7 aka Vista with Touchlib”

I agree… getting device into homes would really give more incentive for development of MT… However its doubtfull to happen anytime soon especially knowing Microsoft’s habits.

There would be an explosion of applications and games developed if Microsoft were to release this paired with an Xbox360. Makes me wonder what the 360 means (360UI)?

Well said Pawel! smile

I thinking about the technology in which that made it.It will be make same noise in our forum I think…

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