It's called Surface Computing, and Gates thinks it just might be the biggest breakthrough in computing technology since the mouse. Let's for a
second recall a supposed game-changer of Microsoft's past: the highly touted Windows Media Center, which was so expensive only multi-millionaires could afford it. This will cost between $5K and $10K,
depending on the size screen and capacity.
But it's cool. The technology turns tabletops into canvases where users can browse music libraries by dragging fingers across a horizontal
display. They can also scan devices and compare them to similar offerings from other makers. Similarly, if you plunk a digital camera on the screen, you can upload photos. The screen, operated by
cameras, can register up to 52 touches at a time, ideal for business meetings.
Wireless technology can also scan objects in a room and pull up information from the Web. The product is still several years away from being completed.