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In Boston this week, Charles Schwab is making an IMPACT. Their annual conference is an opportunity for Schwab clients and partners to get the latest in techniques and technologies to help them keep ahead of an ever-changing curve. This year, Schwab will be using Microsoft Surface and applications created by our Microsoft Surface strategic partner Infusion to both inform attendees about the conference and showcase Schwab’s new report generation tool.
We recently chatted with Tim Heier, Charles Schwab vice president of Enterprise Architecture, about how Surface is being used at IMPACT.
Why did you choose to utilize Surface? What experience were you trying to achieve?
[Tim Heier] We wanted to change the interaction model explore new ways for our clients to see and work with financial data. Microsoft Surface provides an interface that draws users into the content and makes their data the interface. The environment is highly interactive and "what if…" scenarios are easily explored when users can see and interact with data.
Can you give us a brief summary of the applications you are using and the need they meet in your organization?
[Tim Heier] Surface is being used at our annual IMPACT® conference for independent investment advisors; two applications, developed by Infusion, were built for this event, taking place in Boston this week. The first is what we're calling our "conference application" that contains up-to-date information about the conference sessions, marketing content, conference photos and a real-time Twitter feed about the conference. It's a highly interactive application inviting users to explore maps of the surrounding area, flip through conference photos, read the latest conference news, etc. The second application is a touch-based simulation of our new report generation tool, something truly innovative which uses the interactivity of Surface to showcase how clients can dynamically build financial reports in our PortfolioCenter® portfolio management software. Users interact with a highly graphical report building tool, using touch and gestures to build complex reports quickly. It's a very engaging experience and one we hope draws attention to the new PortfolioCenter release!
Have you seen any positive business results come from your Surface deployment?
[Tim Heier] Our work with Surface is still in the early stages and we have not yet made it broadly available to clients. The applications we developed for IMPACT will enable us to gain feedback from our clients about possible future projects.
What types of reactions have you seen to customers using Surface?
[Tim Heier] The immediate response is fascination. I have seen users instantly engage and dive into the experience. Surface is a relatively new platform to us and one that many people have not seen but once they get their hands on it (literally), they really enjoy exploring it.
Thank you Tim for sharing your experiences with us! - Eric (follow Surface on Twitter and Facebook)
Three full application samples have been available at code.msdn.microsoft.com for about 3 months now. Posting this so that everyone knows of these invaluable resources.Luis CabreraPlatform Program ManagerMicrosoft Surface
Microsoft® Surface® Live Stream Code SampleLive Stream enables businesses to engage their customers face-to-face using the most recent and relevant Twitter™, Flickr®, and RSS newsfeeds. Community generated photos, tweets, and stories float across the Microsoft Surface display so that several people can touch and share interesting content with one another. People can flip the content over to generate a Microsoft Tag, and then use their phones to scan it and go straight to the source in their mobile web browser. From there they can further explore the content or jump into the conversation.
Surface administrators can quickly reveal a hidden status panel by placing down a tag on the screen. At a glance, the panel indicates service connectivity, adjusts flow speed and direction, controls the volume, and provides a very quick way to remove inappropriate content and accounts – all without having to leave the application or interrupt the experience.
This code sample is highly customizable and extensible. In minutes an administrator can quickly re-skin the interface and branding elements making it ready for deployment at any business or enterprise. With a little more time, Twitter, Flickr, and newsfeed integration can be expanded to other services or pointed directly at a new feed by extending it with custom code. Additionally, developers can use the code in any number of completely new or existing Surface applications.
Live Stream demonstrates an elegant, simplified, interface designed for touch from the ground up, and based on the Metro design language. It is a great reference for those interested in advanced touch application design.
Download the Live Stream Code Sample – http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Surface-Live-Stream-Code-1b896177
Microsoft® Surface® Financial Services Code SampleThe Microsoft® Surface® Financial Services Sample Application shows retail bankers and customers working together exploring service options and wise monetary investments. Brochures and other objects interact with the screen to reveal customizable graphs, videos, and information specifically related to individual needs.
The release of the Microsoft Surface Financial Services Code Sample, based on the aforementioned sample application, helps developers build upon and customize these experiences. Developers can now use the code to finish their own banking application or use it to springboard completely new application experiences.
The code sample demonstrates how 360° multiuser interaction and object recognition, like tags and blob size, enhances peoples’ enjoyment and understanding of products and services. Developers creating retail, hospitality, entertainment, and education experiences may find this code sample especially useful. Assets for creating tokens and mailers used with the code sample are also provided.
Note: The code sample defaults to British pounds (GBP) and can be set to USD via configuration file.
Video of the Financial Services Code Sample can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz6LlSShH2Y
Download the Financial Services Code Sample – http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Surface-Financial-Code-12ab2499
Microsoft® Surface® Bluetooth Connect Code Sample
This code sample can help to develop Microsoft® Surface® applications that can send content to Bluetooth equipped mobile devices that utilize the Object Exchange Protocol (OBEX) – without the need for a client-side application.
The sample demonstrates sharing pictures, contacts and ringtones to a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone; but the possibilities are endless. Use this sample to enhance assisted sales, gaming, education, and communication scenarios.
This code sample is designed for use with the Microsoft Surface 1.0 SP1 SDK and makes use of the .NET Bluetooth library binary file available from http://32feet.net/default.aspx – it is provided "as-is" and is not supported.
Video of a project based on the code sample is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gW7j32tqYA
Download the Bluetooth Connect Code Sample – http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Surface-Bluetooth-Connect-570fa881