Microsoft's next-generation monitor .. the touch screen sphere

Blogger Todd Bishop has got a great story on a Microsoft Research project for creating sphere-shaped touch screens. He writes:

"After months of rumors, Microsoft researchers are taking the wraps off a prototype that uses an internal projection and vision system to bring a spherical computer display to life. People can touch the surface with multiple fingers and hands to manipulate photos, play games, spin a virtual globe, or watch 360-degree videos."

Bishop points out that the basic sphere is already available from the OEM, Global Imagination of Los Gatos, Calif., but notes that Microsoft researchers have tweaked the features and functionality quite a bit. While it seems unlikely that a globe will ever replace the LCD flat screen, it does lend itself to numerous applications that can't be done on a flat screen. These include using a monitor in the center of a room for conferences or video games and displaying global data in a geographically accurate way.

A picture is worth a 1,000 words, so we've posted the video demonstration here.

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