Microsoft tablet to be "no thicker than sheet of glass"


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Mar 5, 2006
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Microsoft will deliver a touchscreen PC that is "no thicker than a sheet of glass" within the next three years, according to the company's principal researcher.

The tablet will be the next generation of Microsoft's Surface technology. Launched in 2007, the touchscreen Surface cabinet uses cameras and image recognition software to identify hand gestures and objects placed on top of the screen.

Microsoft's principal researcher Bill Buxton claims the next generation of Surface will be radically thinner. "Right now it [surface] has five cameras in it and a projector and a bunch of other stuff," Buxton said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

"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."

Buxton claims Microsoft is developing a new type of screen technology to make the miniaturisation possible. "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."

Buxton claims that, before long, the new slimmed-down Surface could be a fixture in people's homes. "What I predict is that sooner than you’d expect — but longer than I want — these things will come in at really cost effective prices and will start appearing in people’s living rooms, dining rooms, game rooms, and so on and so forth."

"I believe you will see that in three years," he added.

By Barry Collins
Microsoft tablet to be "no thicker than sheet of glass" | News | PC Pro