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Scanning the blog traffic I noticed over on Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing that Microsoft Surface made quite an impression at this year’s TechCrunch50 event. Dodge was in the DemoPit, and got an up close look at people’s interactions with Surface. Silicon Valley VIP and TechCrunch founder, Michael Arrington, noted that he wanted to take one home with him saying "Just try and stop me,” Surface caught the eye of a couple other celebs in attendance.
On Ashton Kutcher’s MySpace Blog, he said “The coolest thing I've seen so far is Microsoft Surface. It’s a coffee table that’s like a giant iPhone.” Ashton's readers seem to agree that Ashton is cool. ;)
According to Dodge, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was visualizing ways he could incorporate Surface, and noted that he would love to have Surface to use as a coaching tool for his team. Maybe apps that might help players visualize a teams playbook and make notes, play back video or even scout plays and tendencies of upcoming opponents - all in a 360 degree huddle. I think Cuban would need to add some height to Surface for the Mav's Nowitzki! I hadn't thought of Surface for the coach. I'm personally interested to see if Mark mentions Surface on his blog and what apps he's thinking about. Pro or con, he always has some perspective.
A few weeks ago, TechCrunch's co-founder Erick Schonfeld blogged about activity on Vectorform's Surface blog. Other than Surface drum kits, you may have heard of Vectorform recently for their work building the apps seen on MSNBC.
Would you like to see more Surface apps? Is there something in particular you're dreaming about?
If you were on the East coast this morning or just up real early on the West coast you might have seen Microsoft Surface in action on TV. But this isn’t just another news story about Surface, this morning a unit was deployed on the MSNBC set for regular use by Chuck Todd, NBC News political director, to assist him in analyzing the upcoming 2008 election and political news beyond.
Today we saw two applications in action, the Electoral Map and Battleground States, but over the coming days/weeks Todd will likely use other unique applications and features to further highlight the candidates, the issues, polls and relevant political news.
I thought I’d drill down into each app briefly and give you a sense for what Todd has available at his fingertips…
Electoral Map – Todd will use Surface to quickly and easily view historic voting results, polling insights and demographic data for each state. And by placing an object on the display, Todd will be able to instantly change the map to showcase results from previous predictions or to identify up-to-the minute changes.
Battleground States –This application will allow Todd to visually demonstrate the impact of various potential voting outcomes in key states and the effect they have on the number of electoral votes needed to win the election. This will be a great tool for Todd to lay out various electoral scenarios.
It’s been a fun and wild ride to bring this experience to life. MSNBC was looking for a new and engaging way to tell the political drama that is unfolding before us and they came to Microsoft Surface for help. In turn, we worked with one of our partners, Vectorform, to create a suite of applications based on MSNBC’s unique needs. And while the content and apps are different, the approach to using Surface is as well. Surface goes beyond just multi-touch and resizing content, Todd can bring “tagged” objects to Surface (like in the Electoral Map) that deliver unique digital interactions (new predictions). Surface also allows for multiple people to interact with the content simultaneously.
We’re changing the way you political junkies (that’s all of us, come on you know you’re hooked after those conventions) are gonna get their news fix. Tell us, how do you think Surface is going to change political coverage as its presented and shared in the news?
Here we are on set just after our first segment aired...
And here's a video of one of today's segments...
Here's another segment shown on Monday. Meanwhile, stay tuned to MSNBC for new apps and more Surface goodness.
Cheers from DC,