Table of Content

1. Property Switch

2. Computing

3. Travel and Transportation

4. Related Link

Smart Surface Switch Property

Surface Property Switch Technology proposed by MIT engineers. This type of technology has wonderful potential to make the world a better place to live in. By using nano- technology, the engineers at MIT are finding a way to switch the property of any surface from the molecular level. Once the surface is made, it will switch it's property as a response to an external stimuli. This technology can be on any surface. For example, the surface of a fire fighter uniform. Lets say a fire fighter gets a new uniform made with this type of technology. As the fire fighter move into a burning building, the suit sense some dangerous chemical in the air and immediately switch it's property to protect the fire fighter. Watch this video about it at howstuffworks.

Origins and Background Information

The purpose of technologies and always coming out with bigger and better ones is to make life simpler. Surface technology has evolved over the years to make working with computers easy and accessible. It started with the keyboard followed by the mouse, and then came the touchpad mouse in laptops. After the laptop came the tablet PC, touch screens, and now the Microsoft Surface. In 1971 the first “touch sensor” was developed by Dr. Sam Hurst, at The University of Kentucky. It was named the Elograph, and patented by the Kentucky Research Foundation. Shortly after, in 1977, a five wire resistive technology was developed by Hurt’s company. This new touch screen concept is the most popular, and became a part of ATM’s in banks. The technique of Multi-touch based on human-computer interaction was introduced five years later. It recognizes multiple simultaneous touch points and corresponding software ware designed to interpret simultaneous touches. This technology links to the origins of Microsoft Surface. A Microsoft researcher developed the multi-touch tablet that was capable of sensing number of simultaneous touch inputs and was able to report location and degree of touch for each touch point. The origin of the idea of the smart surface was formed in 2001 by Steven Bathiche and Andy Wilson of Microsoft, where a team and the project idea were presented to Bill Gates in 2003. The Microsoft Surface was unveiled on May 29, 2007, where we all await the price to become affordable bringing it to homes and offices around the world.

Microsoft Surfaces

Smart Surfaces are considered by many to be the future of the personal computer. In essence, smart surfaces are designed to remove any barriers between man and machine. This is achieved by the replacement of the keyboard and mouse by direct input by the user. Smart surfaces come in many forms and serve many purposes; from commercial use to personal entertainment there is no limit to what can be achieved by this new technology.
One could argue that Smart surfaces are the greatest departure from the Neumann model, as the remove nearly all of the traditional forms of input associated with computing.

Microsoft Touch

EXAMPLE: Features of Microsoft Surface Main interface components: Direct interaction, multi-touch contact, a multi-user experience, and recognition.
Direct interaction: Facility to with hand gestures and touch instead on mouse and keyboard.
Multi-touch contact: User need not use only one finger to manage digital data. If user dips five fingers in five different colors in the on screen paint palette and draws five lines with five fingers, you get five lines with five colors.
Multi-user experience: Typical computers accept only one keyboard and a mouse. Microsoft Surface accepts multiple inputs from multiple users. More than one person sitting across the Surface, can do independent work on the same Surface.
Object recognition: The system can identify physical objects placed on the Surface. It can relate the appropriate software for the appropriate item placed on surface. Objects may be recognized based on their shape or on special codes ( like barcodes) affixeddh to them.smart_surface.jpg

Source: (

Specs: For Microsoft Surface

Display Type: 30-inch Flat panel display
Orientation: Horizontal – like a table to allow users to use, share and create experiences together.
CPU: Core 2 Duo processor
Processor: 1 GHz processor.
Installed Memory: 2GB of RAM
Hard drive: Yes
Graphics Card: 256MB graphics card.
Projector: DLP light engine like the one used in rear-projection HDTV.
Cameras: Five cameras with infrared filters - net resolution of 1280 x 960
Material: The tabletop is acrylic, and its interior frame is powder-coated steel.
Surface: Not touch-sensitive surface. When you place or drag a finger, internal projector lights screen from beneath.
Power Supply: Standard American 110–120V power
Operating System: The custom software platform runing on Windows Vista
Network Connectivity: Wired Ethernet 10/100 and wireless 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity.
Dimensions: 22 inches high, 21 inches deep and 42 inches wide.
Weight: 150 pounds
Other features:
Drag & Drop: Like any widows Operating system, all items can be dragged and dropped.
Automatic Identification: Can identify objects. Place your Digital camera on the surface and you can see the photos displayed on the surface without actually downloading!
Initial customers: Harrah's Entertainment, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, T-Mobile and IGT.
Ideal for: Restaurants, games, shops and Entertainment
Microsoft Surface Approximative Price: US$ 10000

Travel and Transportation

"Smart Surface Technology" is a new technology called developed by Bayer Polymers, one of the world's largest plastics manufacturers, in partnership with the Swiss firm Lumitec, a specialist in electro luminescence (EL) and precision electronic components.

Scientists use the term EL to refer to a method of generating light that fireflies have been masters of all along - albeit by chemical means. In contrast to fireflies, engineers use a film that lights up on application of a voltage to achieve EL light generation. Electro luminescence is literally a "cool" concept, because it does not produce heat. The hitch: only flat surfaces of limited size could be achieved in the past. But Smart Surface Technology now makes it possible for the films to be shaped as needed and thus to illuminate any conceivable geometry.

The main application for this technology will be for the automotive industry. The incandescent lamps in cars today will not be used anymore. Instead, instrument panels will be designed to take up less room. The headliner on the interior of a car will glow in a soft, glare-free light and provide a pleasant atmosphere in the passenger compartment."

Related Links

  1. Von Neumann Model
  2. MIT Property Switch Surface
  3. Surface Property Switch Article
  4. Travel and Transportation
  5. Microsoft Surface Features
    1. Photos