New Interfaces — Microsoft Surface Studio

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Despite the creepy music in its commercial (similar to the “Eidelweiss” song in the Man in the High Castle opening), the Microsoft Surface Studio should be lauded. PC, laptops, and tablets are getting boring but are still needed for getting real work done. Microsoft is now making beautiful hardware in a different form factor than Apple’s.

We’ll probably see new types of monitors with touch interfaces be released that can support this type of interface in the coming years. Mixed with Cortana, the interaction with the Surface Studio could look a lot like the one with the desktop in Her (though this seems like an really impractical way to work — everyone chatting into a device in an open office setting).

The thing I like about the new design is that it makes touch interaction seem much more practical. We’re likely to use pens and pencils when sitting down rather than holding a tablet and a pen while standing. Also, when sitting, it’s much more likely that two hands are going to be free to interact with a screen.

The tactile experience as well is really important. Gesture devices like Leap Motion or Myo lap haptic feedback, making them a strange interface (you can see non haptic feedback from Her… just wear earmuffs).

With Surface Studio, have a stylus or other tactile inputs like a the knob seem useful. While device seems to be marketed towards architects and artists, we’ll see if this will bleed into the mainstream.

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