This is why I love the tech industry…

Sometimes I get caught up in all the bubble and ego talk. You know, all that stuff that the industry insiders care about and what keeps tech blogging sometimes feeling like a high school (who has the bigger ego? The bigger puppet? Who is going to start a snit on Gillmor Gang? Etc. Etc.)

That stuff is all fun for the insiders as they create drama so that we’ll get you to pay attention and engage with us comment on our blogs.

But then, once in a while, something will happen that’ll snap you out of the World Wide High School and remind you that this industry does, indeed, create cool stuff that makes our lives more productive and interesting. Well, actually, for me, that happens very often because I have a front-row-seat on this industry and get to see tons of interesting stuff.

But this is one of those times when what you’re seeing and who you’re talking with is much more interesting than usual. And the response from people who participate (this was filmed live, with a live audience) tells me that I’m not alone in recognizing this was a special moment for my camera.

So, that was a long way of saying, don’t miss this conversation with Microsoft Researcher Andy Wilson. He’s the guy behind the “Surface” technology that you use your hands on. Thursday at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley offices he was showing off his latest version of that technology and taking questions from some interesting people themselves (my producer, Rocky Barbanica, who was a software developer for two decades before going back to film school, as well as someone from Symantec’s CTO Office were part of the conversation, along with people who dropped by my Qik channel while I was filming these).

It’s split into a few pieces because the cell phone connection died a couple of times, but you’ll see why I started up the phone again.

Part I 28 minutes long.
Part II 1 minute long.
Part III 6 minutes long. (physical objects interacting with virtual ones — freaking cool — he also explains the algorithm behind “pinch” interfaces).

Bonus interview: Research team that does bilingual translations live on Web pages, IM, and other places (Twitter?). That one is seven minutes and 43 seconds long.

This stuff is just so cool. If you agree, can you link to this from your Twitter account, your blog, or vote for this on Digg or Reddit? This conversation deserves a far wider distribution than my usual stuff because it could inspire kids to see how just one developer can change what we think of the tech industry. Thanks to Andy Wilson for the inspiring conversation and thanks to Microsoft Research for hiring him and helping this conversation to happen!

Comments

  1. I totally agree … I’ve a couple of friends who have played with physical objects interacting with virtual – this just takes it so far beyond.

    Yeah, we get jaded by jargon etc all the time. It is nice to be surprised and wowed once in a while.

  2. I totally agree … I’ve a couple of friends who have played with physical objects interacting with virtual – this just takes it so far beyond.

    Yeah, we get jaded by jargon etc all the time. It is nice to be surprised and wowed once in a while.

  3. Cool but i’m not watching 35 minuts of shitty Qik quality video… what’s on your shoulder on your header, use it Robert.

  4. Cool but i’m not watching 35 minuts of shitty Qik quality video… what’s on your shoulder on your header, use it Robert.

  5. Simon: first off, it’s not that shitty. Second off, I can’t use HD on everything. I wouldn’t get nearly the intimacy, nor the world-wide reaction and participation I get with the cell camera. Third off, sometimes you just don’t know what’s going to turn out great and that’s when the cell phone comes out. I just watched all 30+ minutes and this is magical stuff, sorry you’re so hung up on it being a little blurry here or there, or a little shaky here or there. Your loss.

  6. Simon: first off, it’s not that shitty. Second off, I can’t use HD on everything. I wouldn’t get nearly the intimacy, nor the world-wide reaction and participation I get with the cell camera. Third off, sometimes you just don’t know what’s going to turn out great and that’s when the cell phone comes out. I just watched all 30+ minutes and this is magical stuff, sorry you’re so hung up on it being a little blurry here or there, or a little shaky here or there. Your loss.

  7. Here’s what this post tells me:

    * There is 35 minutes of video that you think I should see.
    *It involves a guy from MS’ Surface group showing tech and answering questions.
    *It isn’t the World Wide High School.
    *It’s cool and I should tell everyone to see it.

    But … err … what’s missing is the part where you say what makes it so cool that I should see it.

    I’m not trying to jump down your throat here, but a little descriptiveness would really help. 35 minutes is a bit of a commitment, and lots of people want me to watch their cool videos.

  8. Here’s what this post tells me:

    * There is 35 minutes of video that you think I should see.
    *It involves a guy from MS’ Surface group showing tech and answering questions.
    *It isn’t the World Wide High School.
    *It’s cool and I should tell everyone to see it.

    But … err … what’s missing is the part where you say what makes it so cool that I should see it.

    I’m not trying to jump down your throat here, but a little descriptiveness would really help. 35 minutes is a bit of a commitment, and lots of people want me to watch their cool videos.

  9. Bryan: have you ever seen a demo of a Surface computer from Microsoft? This guy invented it. The demos he has here are killer. I can’t really do justice explaining what Andy Wilson does. You have to watch it. If you do, come back here and tell other people if it’s worth it or not. I know that when I was filming it people said they were very happy they watched it.

  10. Bryan: have you ever seen a demo of a Surface computer from Microsoft? This guy invented it. The demos he has here are killer. I can’t really do justice explaining what Andy Wilson does. You have to watch it. If you do, come back here and tell other people if it’s worth it or not. I know that when I was filming it people said they were very happy they watched it.

  11. And, Bryan, if I say someone is one of the smartest people in the world and that you should watch his video, why argue? You can’t get this stuff at any conference in the world, but if I gave you a ticket to TED, would you argue that you “might waste your time?”

  12. And, Bryan, if I say someone is one of the smartest people in the world and that you should watch his video, why argue? You can’t get this stuff at any conference in the world, but if I gave you a ticket to TED, would you argue that you “might waste your time?”

  13. Robert,

    You should look at the work of Johnny Chung Lee, Ph.D. Graduate Student @ Carnegie Mellon University. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/

    Johnny is working in the same field as Andy Wilson. Johnny creates surface computing prototypes using inexpensive off the shelf parts such as the Wii game console (it contains a 1024×768 infrared camera with built-in hardware blob tracking of up to 4 points at 100Hz). Johnny work brings ir surface computing to early adopters today and enables a DIY to experiment with some of same technology Andy showed you at the Microsoft’s Silicon Valley offices.

  14. Robert,

    You should look at the work of Johnny Chung Lee, Ph.D. Graduate Student @ Carnegie Mellon University. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/

    Johnny is working in the same field as Andy Wilson. Johnny creates surface computing prototypes using inexpensive off the shelf parts such as the Wii game console (it contains a 1024×768 infrared camera with built-in hardware blob tracking of up to 4 points at 100Hz). Johnny work brings ir surface computing to early adopters today and enables a DIY to experiment with some of same technology Andy showed you at the Microsoft’s Silicon Valley offices.

  15. Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the 35 min video due to borked NVidia Drivers situation during Fedora 9 upgrade, but I have seen the surface in action before. This type of interface is definitely going to make an impact. A few have mentioned Johnny Chung Lee who is doing some amazing stuff with Wiimotes, but I don’t think any one has mentioned Jeff Han at Perspective Pixel. http://www.perceptivepixel.com/ This is the technology behind CNN’s “magic wall”, but is so much more powerfully demonstrated by Jeff.

  16. Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the 35 min video due to borked NVidia Drivers situation during Fedora 9 upgrade, but I have seen the surface in action before. This type of interface is definitely going to make an impact. A few have mentioned Johnny Chung Lee who is doing some amazing stuff with Wiimotes, but I don’t think any one has mentioned Jeff Han at Perspective Pixel. http://www.perceptivepixel.com/ This is the technology behind CNN’s “magic wall”, but is so much more powerfully demonstrated by Jeff.

  17. Scoble,

    I do not have high bandwidth. Should that restrict me from watching it?. Can u provide the less bandwidth beings a direct download link ….

    -Dhawal

  18. Scoble,

    I do not have high bandwidth. Should that restrict me from watching it?. Can u provide the less bandwidth beings a direct download link ….

    -Dhawal

  19. Unfortunately couldn’t watch video due to borked video drivers during Fedora 9 upgrade, but have seen it before. This type of interface will have an impact on computing for sure. Others have mentioned Johnny Chung Lee who does some amazing things with the Wiimote in a variety of similar contexts, but I don’t think anyone has mentioned Jeff Han at Perceptive Pixel. http://www.perceptivepixel.com/ This is the tech behind CNN’s “magic wall”, but its power is much more aptly displayed by Jeff.

  20. Unfortunately couldn’t watch video due to borked video drivers during Fedora 9 upgrade, but have seen it before. This type of interface will have an impact on computing for sure. Others have mentioned Johnny Chung Lee who does some amazing things with the Wiimote in a variety of similar contexts, but I don’t think anyone has mentioned Jeff Han at Perceptive Pixel. http://www.perceptivepixel.com/ This is the tech behind CNN’s “magic wall”, but its power is much more aptly displayed by Jeff.

  21. yeah, TED is definitely a waste of time, just showing how far behind the times the elite really is. and you just have to laugh when the miniscule conceptual leaps of most TED presentations are lauded as major breakthroughs. yikes

  22. yeah, TED is definitely a waste of time, just showing how far behind the times the elite really is. and you just have to laugh when the miniscule conceptual leaps of most TED presentations are lauded as major breakthroughs. yikes

  23. Yes, well it’s great – real time, little capsules to move around, collaborative, and I guess someone will add a relational database and it will look like Time Machine in a lattice. Then we’ll have 3D chess and Go and war-games and roleplay and then computers will take over the world and we’ll just fall into 30 foot displays and start swimming.

    Peace
    :)

  24. Yes, well it’s great – real time, little capsules to move around, collaborative, and I guess someone will add a relational database and it will look like Time Machine in a lattice. Then we’ll have 3D chess and Go and war-games and roleplay and then computers will take over the world and we’ll just fall into 30 foot displays and start swimming.

    Peace
    :)

  25. Now if you want to really dig something, dig the post above. It shows how an engineer without much funding and a huge fat paycheck can really be innovative.

  26. Now if you want to really dig something, dig the post above. It shows how an engineer without much funding and a huge fat paycheck can really be innovative.

  27. The problem is that feels like you and your production team at Fastcompany.tv aren’t willing to spend the time to take thirty five minutes of poor quality, raw video and edit it to the best seven minutes for us to watch. Professionals do this every day. It appears you all want to spend the time Twittering about the World Wide High School. Your choice. Your loss in audience.

  28. The problem is that feels like you and your production team at Fastcompany.tv aren’t willing to spend the time to take thirty five minutes of poor quality, raw video and edit it to the best seven minutes for us to watch. Professionals do this every day. It appears you all want to spend the time Twittering about the World Wide High School. Your choice. Your loss in audience.

  29. sidney: if you want edited video, watch CNN. I’m going for people who want a full conversation and not a few minutes of just the sound bites. With these videos I’m going even further: to people who want to participate in the conversation themselves (note that this was done with a cell phone with a live audience and they were able to talk with me and get me to ask better questions). This is stuff that “professionals” can’t do.

  30. sidney: if you want edited video, watch CNN. I’m going for people who want a full conversation and not a few minutes of just the sound bites. With these videos I’m going even further: to people who want to participate in the conversation themselves (note that this was done with a cell phone with a live audience and they were able to talk with me and get me to ask better questions). This is stuff that “professionals” can’t do.

  31. Robert,

    I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the video. There is no way that I could have gotten so close to such a great intimate demo from one of the developers of such an important new technology. I thought that your camera work on the cell phone was great, and appreciate seeing your videos, as well as getting in on your front row seat. Thanks a lot for keeping us in touch.

  32. Robert,

    I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the video. There is no way that I could have gotten so close to such a great intimate demo from one of the developers of such an important new technology. I thought that your camera work on the cell phone was great, and appreciate seeing your videos, as well as getting in on your front row seat. Thanks a lot for keeping us in touch.

  33. Cool stuff? Just more gee-whiz Microsoft tech that will go nowhere…whole R&D billions of that, then Apple, Sony or some misc. CE company will come along doing something similar and it will take off like wildfire, leaving a small dedicated loyal-to-the-mothership MVP core that will create fansites and get invited to freebie junkets so that the marketing teams can feel like they are actually accomplishing something, aka Windows Mobile and Tablet PC.

    PS – Gotta agree with everyone above, these cell phones videos are really totally pointless and a waste of time, excusing it with “intimacy” is just laziness, as I am sure the Surface dweebs would like more marketing spaggy spam in full .x264 compressed HD. Steadi or Glide cam, with show prep and a script, or don’t do it, but a lost cause, I long lost that battle. btw, Tripods suck for video, ok for stills, but limiting in terms of the range of movement, which is why before anyone gets a HD camera, they ought to already have a Steadi/Glide, my philosophy at least.

  34. Cool stuff? Just more gee-whiz Microsoft tech that will go nowhere…whole R&D billions of that, then Apple, Sony or some misc. CE company will come along doing something similar and it will take off like wildfire, leaving a small dedicated loyal-to-the-mothership MVP core that will create fansites and get invited to freebie junkets so that the marketing teams can feel like they are actually accomplishing something, aka Windows Mobile and Tablet PC.

    PS – Gotta agree with everyone above, these cell phones videos are really totally pointless and a waste of time, excusing it with “intimacy” is just laziness, as I am sure the Surface dweebs would like more marketing spaggy spam in full .x264 compressed HD. Steadi or Glide cam, with show prep and a script, or don’t do it, but a lost cause, I long lost that battle. btw, Tripods suck for video, ok for stills, but limiting in terms of the range of movement, which is why before anyone gets a HD camera, they ought to already have a Steadi/Glide, my philosophy at least.

  35. This step in screen technology will be huge… it will change the “haptic” of online content… it will change the customer experience… it will change the design and structure of websites… can`t wait to use such a screen…

  36. This step in screen technology will be huge… it will change the “haptic” of online content… it will change the customer experience… it will change the design and structure of websites… can`t wait to use such a screen…

  37. Scoble,

    I am on something lesser than 100kbps.!!!! I have watched the earlier video where u roamed around the Microsoft Research and Andy showed of the surface, sphere and Minority report type screens among other things. These videos seem to more updates to it. Do I get a direct download link to watch them.!!!

    -Dhawal.

  38. Scoble,

    I am on something lesser than 100kbps.!!!! I have watched the earlier video where u roamed around the Microsoft Research and Andy showed of the surface, sphere and Minority report type screens among other things. These videos seem to more updates to it. Do I get a direct download link to watch them.!!!

    -Dhawal.

  39. I do have to pipe up that, while a huge fanboy of Microsoft Surface and damn near anyone who does stuff with multitouch, they are just yet another player in the space. Other commenters have pointed out the history, so I won’t repeat it.

    A good place to take the conversation is about the social impact on technology 20 years out, input devices, will there be a different type of touch interface based on stationery or mobile systems (desktop vs. mobile), will we see holographic touch, and will the next innovation come from gaming? Can Apple’s game initiatives compete with Nintendo while Microsoft struggles to connect Surface to the Xbox?

    That’s what I want to see/learn about.

    Also, how to tell if your video length/quality is a problem? If you have to spend more time defending it and there’s more conversation around THAT, rather than the topic you are covering, it’s time to revisit the process of producing content.

    An example of this is how Joseph Jaffe and his crew who started Crayon (a marketing agency with a neat approach) is more known (and has more Google juice) because of declaring ‘being first’. I don’t recall much musing about their approach to interactive marketing, but I surely recall the focus on the things surrounding process.

    That’s how we can collectively become *great* (while not proving Andrew Keen’s point).

  40. I do have to pipe up that, while a huge fanboy of Microsoft Surface and damn near anyone who does stuff with multitouch, they are just yet another player in the space. Other commenters have pointed out the history, so I won’t repeat it.

    A good place to take the conversation is about the social impact on technology 20 years out, input devices, will there be a different type of touch interface based on stationery or mobile systems (desktop vs. mobile), will we see holographic touch, and will the next innovation come from gaming? Can Apple’s game initiatives compete with Nintendo while Microsoft struggles to connect Surface to the Xbox?

    That’s what I want to see/learn about.

    Also, how to tell if your video length/quality is a problem? If you have to spend more time defending it and there’s more conversation around THAT, rather than the topic you are covering, it’s time to revisit the process of producing content.

    An example of this is how Joseph Jaffe and his crew who started Crayon (a marketing agency with a neat approach) is more known (and has more Google juice) because of declaring ‘being first’. I don’t recall much musing about their approach to interactive marketing, but I surely recall the focus on the things surrounding process.

    That’s how we can collectively become *great* (while not proving Andrew Keen’s point).

  41. Robert, didn’t you understand? It’s not the video quality or your vague description of the video killing those audiences. It’s the magic word, Microsoft, killing them.

  42. Robert, didn’t you understand? It’s not the video quality or your vague description of the video killing those audiences. It’s the magic word, Microsoft, killing them.

  43. Robert, love what you are doing, and won’t argue for the immidiacy vs quality thing. Will take anything interesting anyhow possible.
    But providing a download option for folks that are not on a fast/medium connection (in addition to streamed content) should really be a no brainer. What is the problem with that? Reduction in time spent on site? Or have I missed the download link? ;-)

  44. Robert, love what you are doing, and won’t argue for the immidiacy vs quality thing. Will take anything interesting anyhow possible.
    But providing a download option for folks that are not on a fast/medium connection (in addition to streamed content) should really be a no brainer. What is the problem with that? Reduction in time spent on site? Or have I missed the download link? ;-)

  45. “if you want edited video, watch CNN. I’m going for people who want a full conversation and not a few minutes of just the sound bite”

    And what is your audience compared to CNN’s? Who is “buying” the crappy quality videos? If there was a market for videos of “people wanting to participate in the conversation”, there would be more people than you doing them. I agree with Mr. Coulter. It’s sheer laziness. This Rocky guy is apparently your producer, What does he produce, if all you do is post unedited videos made on a cell phone.

    The Surface stuff makes for a great demo. Much like the automakers that come out with concept cars. Let’s see what it ends up looking like, if anything, if or when MS decides to commercialize it. I mean, hell, how long has “PlayTable” been a demo? Do they EVER plan to release it?

    At what point did the crying start?

  46. “if you want edited video, watch CNN. I’m going for people who want a full conversation and not a few minutes of just the sound bite”

    And what is your audience compared to CNN’s? Who is “buying” the crappy quality videos? If there was a market for videos of “people wanting to participate in the conversation”, there would be more people than you doing them. I agree with Mr. Coulter. It’s sheer laziness. This Rocky guy is apparently your producer, What does he produce, if all you do is post unedited videos made on a cell phone.

    The Surface stuff makes for a great demo. Much like the automakers that come out with concept cars. Let’s see what it ends up looking like, if anything, if or when MS decides to commercialize it. I mean, hell, how long has “PlayTable” been a demo? Do they EVER plan to release it?

    At what point did the crying start?

  47. Brian: my cell phone videos have been watched more than 450,000 times and, if you haven’t noticed, over at http://www.qik.com there are more and more people doing cell phone videos every day. They have competitors, too, over at http://www.flixwagon.com and http://www.kyte.tv

    What does Rocky produce? We put up a new video almost every day at http://www.fastcompany.tv/scobleizer-tv — those videos are all done with two $6,000 HD cameras and are edited and produced professionally, not done with cell phones.

    But there is going to be many times when I can’t film with the HD camera, for whatever reason, and that I’ll use the cell phone. If you can’t stand the quality, don’t watch the cell phone stuff, just stick to http://www.fastcompany.tv/scobleizer-tv

  48. Brian: my cell phone videos have been watched more than 450,000 times and, if you haven’t noticed, over at http://www.qik.com there are more and more people doing cell phone videos every day. They have competitors, too, over at http://www.flixwagon.com and http://www.kyte.tv

    What does Rocky produce? We put up a new video almost every day at http://www.fastcompany.tv/scobleizer-tv — those videos are all done with two $6,000 HD cameras and are edited and produced professionally, not done with cell phones.

    But there is going to be many times when I can’t film with the HD camera, for whatever reason, and that I’ll use the cell phone. If you can’t stand the quality, don’t watch the cell phone stuff, just stick to http://www.fastcompany.tv/scobleizer-tv

  49. Robert: In and of themselves, there’s nothing wrong with those videos. I didn’t find them interesting enough to merit the run time or difficulty in peering through the compression artifacts, but that’s just a matter of taste. I’m sure some folks will find them fascinating. And hey, I’m a big boy… I know how to use the back button.

    But when you hype your own work, there’s gonna be blowback. Telling people how great you are is a surefire way to ensure that someone steps up to say that you aren’t.

  50. Robert: In and of themselves, there’s nothing wrong with those videos. I didn’t find them interesting enough to merit the run time or difficulty in peering through the compression artifacts, but that’s just a matter of taste. I’m sure some folks will find them fascinating. And hey, I’m a big boy… I know how to use the back button.

    But when you hype your own work, there’s gonna be blowback. Telling people how great you are is a surefire way to ensure that someone steps up to say that you aren’t.

  51. robert,

    i’m sorry but i do have to agree with bryan. i understand why you’re touchy about the criticism but the quality of this just gets in the way of the viewer experience. you’re not well trained as an interviewer and it shows. maybe it wouldn’t hurt to take a course? i know that’s something out of the playbook from the bad MSM but the professionals do make it interesting for the rest of us.

    the other huge problem: the quality of the video itself. you can’t expect people to sit in front of their computers watching 30 minutes of herky jerk recording. it’s just not gonna happen. i don’t know if any of this will make a difference to you but please do accept this as constructive criticism. you need to bring your A game here because the competition is keen.

  52. robert,

    i’m sorry but i do have to agree with bryan. i understand why you’re touchy about the criticism but the quality of this just gets in the way of the viewer experience. you’re not well trained as an interviewer and it shows. maybe it wouldn’t hurt to take a course? i know that’s something out of the playbook from the bad MSM but the professionals do make it interesting for the rest of us.

    the other huge problem: the quality of the video itself. you can’t expect people to sit in front of their computers watching 30 minutes of herky jerk recording. it’s just not gonna happen. i don’t know if any of this will make a difference to you but please do accept this as constructive criticism. you need to bring your A game here because the competition is keen.

  53. “watched more than 450,000 times”

    Taking a page from the Dare-Dept.-of-Windows-Spaces-Misleading-Statistics, eh? You mean these crashy Web 2.0 video-hosting companies have set-top-box Nielsen-like representative tracking capability? I’d bet ‘watched’ translates into ‘hits’ and ‘spiders’, and even then, if so, the dot.com crash was built on eyeball economics. And ‘started’ doesn’t mean ‘finished’, I’ve clicked on tons of your videos, leaving after less than 5 minutes, do I count as a “watcher” then?

    And it doesn’t matter if you have a “professional” area and a “cell phone” area, in terms of the marketing, people will think both are crap, if one is. A company needs to be the best overall, even in the value lines, to make a substandard product in one area, expecting (or pushing) people to flock to the higher-end product is breaking marketing rule #1, perception is truth. This is college-freshman level basic stuff. It won’t matter how many well-produced videos you make, people will still reference you in terms of crappy cell phone videos, again, perception is truth.

  54. “watched more than 450,000 times”

    Taking a page from the Dare-Dept.-of-Windows-Spaces-Misleading-Statistics, eh? You mean these crashy Web 2.0 video-hosting companies have set-top-box Nielsen-like representative tracking capability? I’d bet ‘watched’ translates into ‘hits’ and ‘spiders’, and even then, if so, the dot.com crash was built on eyeball economics. And ‘started’ doesn’t mean ‘finished’, I’ve clicked on tons of your videos, leaving after less than 5 minutes, do I count as a “watcher” then?

    And it doesn’t matter if you have a “professional” area and a “cell phone” area, in terms of the marketing, people will think both are crap, if one is. A company needs to be the best overall, even in the value lines, to make a substandard product in one area, expecting (or pushing) people to flock to the higher-end product is breaking marketing rule #1, perception is truth. This is college-freshman level basic stuff. It won’t matter how many well-produced videos you make, people will still reference you in terms of crappy cell phone videos, again, perception is truth.

  55. OK, Robert, so I watched.

    And look, this isn’t meant as another one of those ‘oh, you’re a loser’, or ‘oh you are talking to MS so therefore it sucks’ slams, or any of that kind of abject negativity. I’m really trying to be constructive here.

    But honestly, my earlier criticism still stands. It would have been nice for you to say more than ‘this is soooo cool, watch it, tell everyone else to watch it!oneoneone!!’. Would have been great to have some kind of summary which tells us what we’re going to see, so we know whether we’ve seen it before, or if it interests us, or where to zoom in and pay attention.

    As for the video itself, well, again, this is just honest opinion, not heaping trash at your door because trashing is fun. But I got about 17 minutes in, then gave up. It’s a bunch of sentence fragments, delivered over some other continuous running audio (was there a a radio running in the backround?). We see the Surface, great, doing the same 3-4 things over and over again, amidst all these sentence fragments. “I’m having a little trouble with … what if I click on this …”, yadda yadda yadda. Bill Gates did a better and far more cohesive presentation on the same technologies at, what, 2006 CES? I kept waiting for the new parts, kept getting more sentence fragments and almost random ‘sorta this, sorta that’ kinds of conversation than anything new or innovative or shareworthy.

    One other thing, Robert – a few years back when you were at MS, I asked about the poor audio quality and the lack of subtitles for the hard of hearing. You said you were going to be doing that soon. Might be a good time to look into it again – a transcript would have been as valuable to this video as a good summary.

    Anyway, this was a swing and a miss. Thanks for the swing, but … I’d love to see a better and more fully-formed interview, with higher production values. I’d love to come up to speed on where MS is going with Surface. This attempt, I am sad to say, wasn’t worth the time invested.

  56. OK, Robert, so I watched.

    And look, this isn’t meant as another one of those ‘oh, you’re a loser’, or ‘oh you are talking to MS so therefore it sucks’ slams, or any of that kind of abject negativity. I’m really trying to be constructive here.

    But honestly, my earlier criticism still stands. It would have been nice for you to say more than ‘this is soooo cool, watch it, tell everyone else to watch it!oneoneone!!’. Would have been great to have some kind of summary which tells us what we’re going to see, so we know whether we’ve seen it before, or if it interests us, or where to zoom in and pay attention.

    As for the video itself, well, again, this is just honest opinion, not heaping trash at your door because trashing is fun. But I got about 17 minutes in, then gave up. It’s a bunch of sentence fragments, delivered over some other continuous running audio (was there a a radio running in the backround?). We see the Surface, great, doing the same 3-4 things over and over again, amidst all these sentence fragments. “I’m having a little trouble with … what if I click on this …”, yadda yadda yadda. Bill Gates did a better and far more cohesive presentation on the same technologies at, what, 2006 CES? I kept waiting for the new parts, kept getting more sentence fragments and almost random ‘sorta this, sorta that’ kinds of conversation than anything new or innovative or shareworthy.

    One other thing, Robert – a few years back when you were at MS, I asked about the poor audio quality and the lack of subtitles for the hard of hearing. You said you were going to be doing that soon. Might be a good time to look into it again – a transcript would have been as valuable to this video as a good summary.

    Anyway, this was a swing and a miss. Thanks for the swing, but … I’d love to see a better and more fully-formed interview, with higher production values. I’d love to come up to speed on where MS is going with Surface. This attempt, I am sad to say, wasn’t worth the time invested.

  57. Fantastic demo of the surface technology… I think the future of interfacing will not require a screen at all, but the screen may (in effect) move forward to become an overlay on our vision. Perhaps this could be done with an advanced ‘contact lens display’ or something analagous. Everything we see will then be a composite of virtual and physical, with virtual elements triggered as required. Might take a few years though…!

  58. Fantastic demo of the surface technology… I think the future of interfacing will not require a screen at all, but the screen may (in effect) move forward to become an overlay on our vision. Perhaps this could be done with an advanced ‘contact lens display’ or something analagous. Everything we see will then be a composite of virtual and physical, with virtual elements triggered as required. Might take a few years though…!

  59. “watched more than 450,000 times and, if you haven’t noticed, over at http://www.qik.com there are more and more people doing cell phone videos every day”

    How can you prove that? Clicking on the link to the video doesn’t mean someone watches the whole thing through. What tracking or surveying are you using to prove 450,000 people have actually consumed your videos from beginning to end. Nevertheless, 450,000 only reinforces my argument that you would do well not to suggest your content (quality aside) is of a higher caliber than CNN, or any other professional news organization. Now, if you started having 450,000 UNIQUE clicks on your videos per day, then you would start to enter MSNBC territory.

    The fact that people are doing more more cell phone videos every day is not really a great point. There are people that paint pictures and do other art every day. But if no one sees it, or buys it, who cares? Sames with the cell phone videos. If no one watches these cell phone videos, what’s your point?

  60. “watched more than 450,000 times and, if you haven’t noticed, over at http://www.qik.com there are more and more people doing cell phone videos every day”

    How can you prove that? Clicking on the link to the video doesn’t mean someone watches the whole thing through. What tracking or surveying are you using to prove 450,000 people have actually consumed your videos from beginning to end. Nevertheless, 450,000 only reinforces my argument that you would do well not to suggest your content (quality aside) is of a higher caliber than CNN, or any other professional news organization. Now, if you started having 450,000 UNIQUE clicks on your videos per day, then you would start to enter MSNBC territory.

    The fact that people are doing more more cell phone videos every day is not really a great point. There are people that paint pictures and do other art every day. But if no one sees it, or buys it, who cares? Sames with the cell phone videos. If no one watches these cell phone videos, what’s your point?

  61. Great videos.

    Obviously it would be best if the videos were HD, but for me, in Brazil, any video is better than nothing. This is my way to keep in touch with the best and latest technology without the travel costs (and the tickets to this kind of events). Thanks for your work.

  62. Great videos.

    Obviously it would be best if the videos were HD, but for me, in Brazil, any video is better than nothing. This is my way to keep in touch with the best and latest technology without the travel costs (and the tickets to this kind of events). Thanks for your work.

  63. wow. so much sniping. what about the thing? also, didn’t msft buy this tech from someone at NYU? or is this person the same that was at NYU? I need to find my reference. I have an article somewhere. It was invented at MSFT, It was invented, then bought by MSFT, as usual.

  64. wow. so much sniping. what about the thing? also, didn’t msft buy this tech from someone at NYU? or is this person the same that was at NYU? I need to find my reference. I have an article somewhere. It was invented at MSFT, It was invented, then bought by MSFT, as usual.

  65. Watching the initial part of the video interview made my eyes glaze over, please do all of your viewers a favor and “edit” the damn video to make it more meaningful. I have no idea how you became such a popular blogger, your content is mediocre and good – only somtimes.

  66. Watching the initial part of the video interview made my eyes glaze over, please do all of your viewers a favor and “edit” the damn video to make it more meaningful. I have no idea how you became such a popular blogger, your content is mediocre and good – only somtimes.