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Calibrating Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft® Surface®

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I’m glad to see so many people excited to get their Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface (“SUR40”) units delivered. SUR40 is reaching customers in over 20 countries right now, and some of the unboxing videos, like this one, have been really fun to watch. I’ve also seen that a few people have questions about when to use the Calibration Tool found on the desktop. Hopefully I can help clarify those questions:

Calibration instructions are available in the Microsoft Surface 2.0 Administration Guide (located here). One of the most important things to note is that you should always have a proper calibration board when calibrating.

If you try to calibrate without the board, you’ll likely mess up your touch input. If you’re curious like me, your instinct might be to double-click the “Calibration Tool” icon located on the desktop just to see what it does. My recommendation is to leave it alone unless you already have your calibration board and you really need to recalibrate your unit.

The best thing to do if you are experiencing any kind of touch performance issues with your unit is to first run the Environmental Light Optimizer tool (instructions here) and see if there are any light sources that may be causing issues. Samsung also provides a Venue Readiness Guide (found here) that has recommendations on optimal lighting which can also help.

Some customers have noted receiving SUR40 units without calibration boards. The good thing is that most units won’t need to be re-calibrated for at least 1,000 hours; as they come calibrated from the factory. Customers that haven’t yet received calibration boards should be getting them from Samsung in the days ahead – well ahead of most customers ever needing them.

–James

 

  • They opened the box upside down!! Sacrilege!

  • I actually studied at RGU back in the late 80's/early 90's when the hardware they used was a honeywell mainframe and network booted PCs with dos and kermit. Oh how things have changed....

  • Hi James, thanks for the clarification - although I was curious enough to click the icon, I luckily cancelled the calibration process before it was too late :)!

    I have a different question for you: Can I tell the Surface (or Windows) to ignore all non-finger input/blobs? Currently, hovering or sleeves touching the surface are treated as touch input and make the cursor jump. From looking at the touch visualizer I know, however, that the Surface is aware of that these are not fingers. How to ignore them on a system level?

    Dominik

    http://www.dominikschmidt.net

  • Hi james.

    I have two questions.one is about the tag recognition o the sur40.

    Tag ability to recognize tags is the major advantage of the surface from other multitouch devices.

    Comparing the tag recognition with the surface1 we noticed,that the sur40 is massivly worse in detecting tags,specially when they are moved on the sur40.

    Take a look at this video we made:

    http://db.tt/UEvxG7bv

    You see, that the datavisualisation tool is assigning a new ID to the tag almost every second,which means the tag is lost each time. The surface 1 had propper and solid tag recognition.

    Are there plans to improve that?

    Samsung claims,that tag recognition has to be fixes by microsoft.

    My 2nd question is about the touch input and calibration.

    we read that others are struggling with tag detection as well and had a slight improvement afer calibrating the sur40.since almost no obe received the calibrationboard with the unit,people cibrated the unit with flipchara Nd doormats.we tried that as well and now we don't have any touches at all on the sur40.

    We reinstalled windows and even a samsung service guy was at our office.nothing helped.

    What can we do to reset the calibration?

    Thanks for you reply.

  • Hi James, I need to buy the Microsoft Surface to use in Brazil. Do you know If there's any retail there or any way to buy it? Anyway, in time, I am able to travel to buy in the US, so in New York city or any other city, where do you think can I buy? Pls, send me a message when you can. My e mail is gui@starbe.tv  Cheers.

  • @Dominik Thanks for your question, you can disable Surface touch input in Windows Mode with the following steps:

    1. Go to the "Pen and Touch" settings in the Windows Control Panel.

    2. Click on the "Touch" tab.

    3. Ensure "Use your finger as an input device" is unchecked.

    4. Click "OK"

    Surface touch input in Windows Mode can be re-enabled by ensuring the "Use your finger as an input device" is checked.

  • @peyman We expect that tag tracking (movement) will not be the same on SUR40 as it was with Surface 1.0. Identifiying the tag value should be about the same and some developers are finding that using the unique tag value (e.g.: FF, 3C, etc...) is a more effective means of tracking objects than using the tag ID (e.g.: 38420598293). Building a little more of a buffer into the tag visualization, and basing the visualization on the tag value, rather than the tag ID (which changes more frequently). We will have a whitepaper out soon that will help explain this in much better detail.

    As to your second question, I think I can best help you address that by contacting you directly. Is there a prefered way to reach you?

  • hi james. thanks a lot for your answere.

    you can reach me at peyman.pakzad@razorfish.de

    I am glad for any help.

    concerning the tag ID vs. tag value.

    we are using the sdk's build in tagvisualization class.

    we also have increased the buffer. but the main difference is, that when dragging tagged objects around on the surface, the visualization is trailing very strongly. the visualization is literally "jumping" to reach the tagged object.

    with the video of the tag ID's I just wanted to show you, that in contrast to the surface1 the ID is lost instantly when moving the tag. on the surface 1 this did not happen at all.  therefor the visualization was always directly under the tagged, no matter how fast you moved it.

    do you know what I am trying to explain?

    also spinning that tagged object on the same spot causes the sdk to loose the tag (and fading the visualisation out, than catching it again and fading it back in).

    is there any way to get the same performence and usability like on the surface 1?

    thanks for your support and help.

  • @James -

    We are having a similar issue to peyman - we went through the calibration without the board and now we have lost most of the touch input (works in the bottom left corner, but that's about it).

    Can you contact me at ryan.boyll@gmail.com and give me any input on how to reset the surface calibration?

    Thanks

  • Can you contact me at  jackd@id.aau.dk and give me any input on how to reset the surface calibration?

    Best

    Jacob

  • In addition to my last post.

    As I said before, we are using the TagVisualization Class. While moveing around the tag on the sur40, the TagVisualization.LostTag Event gets triggered.

  • Any chance you could publish some tips on how to fix a bad calibration (without the board)? I am in the same situation as others.

  • Had to disable touch.

    With finger touch enabled the mouse jumps all around and touch not working in winmdows 7 mode.

    No calibration bioard with unit (how annoying).

    Is it calibration, light or a malfunction?

    How would i pin it down or fix.

  • Hi james,

    we worked our ways around the tag recognition.

    but waht is really important, is that you tell us how to get the touches running again, after a bad calibration.

    could you please contact me on that issue?

  • We received our new SUR40 today but are a bit disappointed at the basic touch performance.

    It is much slower then the Surface 1.0, their seems to be a large lag in touch detection as objects are dragged serveral inches behind the finger even when moving my hand very slow.

    Also hands or sleevs hovering above the surface are detected as touches, which did not happen on the old version.  This is very annoying, because we have to tell our users that they cannot really sit around the screen and have their arms resting on the screen. When using a scatterview with multiple people objects start randomling moving around the screen because of this.

    When I also hear the tag-recognition is not as good as the previous version I am wondering if such things will be improved by updates. We did not yet performa a calibration because we did not receive a board. I guess we need to contact Samsung about that?

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Calibrating Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft® Surface®