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Archive for the ‘Surface’ Category

 

Seems like the season for contests.  Here’s a UK contest with a new twist.  You’ve got to create an application for the finance industry and it must target Microsoft Surface.

Prizes totaling ~$15,000 USD

 

Bank branches of the future could soon have a Microsoft Surface like ours.
The School of Informatics and Microsoft have teamed up with a financial services organisation to bring you the Touch Finance Competition.
Your challenge is to design and build an innovative branch-based personal banking application for Microsoft Surface.

I’m not sure if this contest is only open for  University of Edinburgh student as the complete rules are not posted yet.

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Are you a sushi veteran?   If so it is probably hard to remember your first few trips to a sushi bar.   Looking at the names, wondering what to order.  Nigiri, Onigiri, Temaki.   Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an expert on hand to guide you step by step through your dinner order?

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Phenomblue, a consultancy in Omaha Nebraska, has created a Microsoft Surface proof of concept application for a sushi bar.  The application shows you the sushi items available on the menu (in a rich graphical way), lets you watch videos of the chef preparing the entry and simplifies the ordering process.  Watch the video here.

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Nice touches in the application

You can tell that a lot of work went into the UI for this application.  Creating a Surface application forces you to rethink your UI design.  There are many elements to consider, but l want to touch on two of them in this post.

Surface is a 360 degree environment.  People can approach the Surface from from any side.  A traditional top oriented UI will disappoint at least 75% of the people working at the table.  In this app small wooden boats float in from opposite directions and stop in front of the user on either side of the  table.   Watch the user touch the boat, it sinks a little into the water.

Do not show help files.   Surface applications strive for an immersive and intuitive experience.  The application should lead the user through the learning process whenever possible.  Observe what happens when the diner drags the sushi to the center platter.

First, a nice animation of a fan appears.

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Then the orange slider moves up and down, showing the hungry diner how easily they can order five rolls instead of one.   Nice attention to details. The key is that the application works with the patron by using animation in a practical way.

Kudos to Phenomblue.

 

 


Mastering Microsoft Surface Development with WPF

Learn to program the Microsoft Surface today.
Take our intensive five day course

 

A multi-faceted course that delivers loads of content in an instructor-led format. You get lots of lab time and thousands of lines of sample code to take back to work with you. Best of all we bundle the Microsoft Surface™ and WPF content into to one convenient package, so you can learn everything you need in one information packed week.

Next class:

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What type of application would you create if your target device is a 30 inch table?  Did I mention that it has a hardened top that can take some serious abuse?

Would you have considered a bean bag game?

The clever folks at Razorfish are churning out some interesting Surface apps.  Check out their video archive for more applications.

 


Mastering Microsoft Surface Development with WPF

Learn to program the Microsoft Surface today.
Take our intensive five day course

 

A multi-faceted course that delivers loads of content in an instructor-led format. You get lots of lab time and thousands of lines of sample code to take back to work with you. Best of all we bundle the Microsoft Surface™ and WPF content into to one convenient package, so you can learn everything you need in one information packed week.

Next class:

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MS Demos Surface Physics Engine

James Wood has been quietly hacking away on a new Surface physics engine.  His job is to visualize and create proof of concept applications for Microsoft UK and this is his latest project.

A couple weeks ago James released some videos of his latest research.  Take a look, what do you think?  There are more videos on his site.

In the last couple months there have been  number of excellent Microsoft Surface applications released.  Vertigo, IdentityMine , RazorFish and InterKnowlogy are just a few of the companies creating fascinating Surface applications.  Most of these apps are written in WPF and show how beautiful a WPF interface can be.

 


Mastering Microsoft Surface Development with WPF

Learn to program the Microsoft Surface today.
Take our intensive five day course

 

A multi-faceted course that delivers loads of content in an instructor-led format. You get lots of lab time and thousands of lines of sample code to take back to work with you. Best of all we bundle the Microsoft Surface™ and WPF content into to one convenient package, so you can learn everything you need in one information packed week.

Next class:

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As many of my friends know I have been working on a new course for 2009.  This week the announcements are out, and I can finally talk about my latest project.  Starting in April I will be teaching a combined Microsoft Surface and Windows Presentation Framework course.  I’m excited about this class, as I think the Surface is an amazing example of multi-touch done right.

 

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I’ve been collaborating with Wintellect and the Microsoft Surface team for several months to make this course happen.  Last week we finalized the details for the first offering.  April 20th in Dallas is the first time this course will be presented to the public.

Learn about the Microsoft Surface

Obviously any class about the Microsoft Surface needs to discuss the Surface hardware and the Surface API.

When you choose to write software for the Microsoft Surface™ you need to learn two major components. First, you have to understand the Microsoft Surface™ unit itself. Microsoft Surface™ features a 30-inch tabletop display, which contains a unique vision system, and features a well-designed multi-touch UI.

During the course you will work frequently with the physical Microsoft Surface™ units. You’ll learn how the hardware works, learn how to calibrate the unit and setup your developer environment. You will also learn how to gather input from the user via the touch system and see how to function in an environment without a mouse or keyboard. We explain how to configure and customize the existing Microsoft Surface™ Application Suite, and show how to configure and deploy your Microsoft Surface™ application. During the week we take many opportunities to discuss UI design and the challenges of creating a functional application that makes sense in a 360 degree, multi-touch environment.

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Learn WPF during the Microsoft Surface course

When it comes time to write a Surface application you have to choose a platform.  Surface applications can be written in WPF or XNA. 

Second, you need to learn a suitable UI programming platform. Windows Microsoft Surface™ applications can be written in Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) or XNA. … WPF is a superb framework for building rich client applications and it partners perfectly with the Microsoft Surface™. In addition to all the Microsoft Surface™ specific training offered during the week, this course also includes the content from our Mastering Windows Presentation Framework class.

So you get a complete course in WPF (with the course tailored to the WPF pieces that are most important for Surface applications) and a course in the Surface combined into an intense 50 hour week. 

When are the classes?

So far we’ve only announced the first class.

April 20 – 24th

Dallas Texas

There will be one class a month for the rest of 2009.  I’ll be teaching it again in Seattle in May and on the east coast in June.  We haven’t pinned down the exact dates yet, I’ll post as soon as I know more details.

Learn more about the class.

Sign up for the class.

Do I need to own a Surface unit?

No.

Any one can attend the class.  If you are yearning to learn more about the Surface I encourage you to attend.  You’ll also learn WPF during the week. 

If you want your own Surface unit  or your company is planning on buying units however you have to talk to the Surface team and become part of their Microsoft Surface partner program.

Mastering Microsoft Surface™ Development with WPF is a multi-faceted course that delivers loads of content in an instructor-led format. You get lots of lab time and thousands of lines of sample code to take back to work with you. Best of all we bundle the Microsoft Surface™ and WPF content into to one convenient package, so you can learn everything you need in one information packed week.

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