Surface computing is the term for the use of a specialized computer GUI in which traditional GUI elements are replaced by intuitive, everyday objects. Instead of a keyboard and mouse, the user interacts directly with a touch-sensitive screen. It has been said that this more closely replicates the familiar hands-on experience of everyday object manipulation.
Early work in this area was done at the University of Toronto, Alias Research, and MIT. Surface work has included customized solutions from vendors such as LM3LABS or GestureTek, Applied Minds for Northrop Grumman. Major computer vendor platforms are in various stages of release: the iTable by PQLabs, Linux MPX, the Ideum MT-50, interactive bar by spinTOUCH, and Microsoft PixelSense (formerly known as Microsoft Surface).
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