Wednesday, March 18, 2009

DigiDesk: Desktop for Future Information Workers


MS Surface is undoubtedly one of coolest gadgets Microsoft has showed off. Because Surface is too famous, people forget another promising project from Microsoft – DigiDesk. It was originally introduced at Convergence 2007. From HCI view point, both Surface and DigiDesk can be categorized as a tabletop interface. However, their applications are slightly different. Surface aims at public and home entertainment markets, while DigiDesk is designed for information workers. Let’s first see introductory videos of DigiDesk below:

<a href="" target="_new" title="Microsoft's computer future concept">Video: Microsoft's computer future concept</a>

What do you think about DigiDesk? Googling Surface applications returns (collaborative) entertainment such as photo browsing and shopping. Applications seem to be very funny and useful. But they are not designed for the rest of us who are tightly chained up by desktop PCs.
Current desktop computing environment consists of a PC, a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. For me, it is just an advanced typewriter and does not reflect all of the work flow you are doing on your desktop. One has to continuously wander around the digital and the real world.  However, imagine if you have a sufficiently large and thin display combined with DigiDesk on your desk. In this case, the work will be very different. Your desktop is now fully digital and you might less rely on traditional pen and paper.
Which one would change our life more seriously? I bet DigiDesk (or Surface with DigiDesk function :) ).

See also:
Microsoft CIW Prototype Demo

Updated Dec. 2, 2009

Links for DigiDesk demo are broken. I found another DigiDesk video clip still alive.

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