February 27, 2008 Announced last year in a commercial format for use in public spaces, Microsoft's Surface computing technology could soon be available in a consumer version according to a report from InformationWeek.

The Surface is a 30-inch “coffee table” display that not only enables direct interaction with digital content, but also responds to natural gestures and physical objects meaning users can “grab” digital information and manipulate it by touch. The technology also facilitates multi-touch interaction so that as many as a dozen points of contact able to be simultaneously recognized by the system, allowing several people to use the Surface at any given time for real-time collaborative input.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer cited a high-level of consumer interest in the technology as the catalyst for developing a mass-market version.

No solid release dates or prices have yet been discussed.

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