Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
We love Microsoft’s
Big Ass Table Surface project, and its latest incarnation, the Surface 2, is the apple our eye.
However, until just a short time ago, we fretted that the hardware would suffer from a very stiff application drought; who would develop for such a niche product? Of course, any company that inteded to use them as an installation could hack up their own app, but who else would hit the code?
As it turns out, we now have examples of two killer apps for the new Surface. One, you can find it here, is a space adventure. The next, and this is new for today, is a light table application that gives photogs a digital recreation of a classic experience. The following short video has the clips you desire:
Couldn’t this sort of thing be done on an iPad? Of course, but the experience would be lacking.
As for professional creatives, beyond experiment’s sake, iPad apps don’t stand a chance next to what’s available on the desktop (think CS5, Final Cut Pro, Autocad and Pro Tools). Sure, the iPad can be an impressive creation tool, but everybody knows its heart is set on the consumer. Everything in the App Store is pretty much intended to work upon first try (sans skill), and this likely won’t change any time soon.
Surface, on the other hand, packs the flexibility that will keep it out of consumer hands. It has the potential to open up an entire world of collaboration, with niche apps that don’t have to worry about the App Store’s guidelines.
This direction bypasses Apple’s tablet market entirely, turning touchscreens into real tools for creative professionals. Maybe Microsoft has an answer here for Apple’s highly profitable, yet somewhat sad prosumer direction, because as more and more applications appear on Surface, the potential continues to grow.
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