MLS on Microsoft Surface

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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joel
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Microsoft Playtable

Postby joel » Thu May 31, 2007 11:40 pm

Microsoft did not acquire this technology. It was conceived of and developed in house.

My last job at Microsoft was managing an incubation team. Stevie Bathiche worked for me and Andy Wilson was a friend of mine from Microsoft Research. Both are incredible guys. They're listed under the "origins" tab on http://surface.com. The listed history has some pretty serious history and contribution gaps. Many of us hold patents or patents pending for the ideas in playtable. DJ Kurlander (the executive I worked for at the time) was very instrumental and isn't listed at all, perhaps because he, like me, has left the company.

In any case, it has taken way too long for M$FT to take the project seriously, in my opinion. It started out as team of four of us with a couple of crazy ideas and then became real in a very short amount of time. The fact is that this is a bona fide example of Microsoft ingenuity. We all believed at the time and I continue to believe that this kind of interface is more natural and will some day be more pervasive than the keyboard/mouse combo.

At the time we called the project playtable, but we had other projects we worked on as well (Neo, Grapevine, etc.) which never saw the light of day (but were, in my opinion, as good or better).

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:02 am

That's terrific. Thanks so much for the insider clarification! Late or not, I'm excited to see that it will be tangibly on the market (unfortunately, not consumer market yet) at the end of this year!

pantherjad-p40
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Seemingly helpful for HT/VT organization but frivolous too

Postby pantherjad-p40 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:00 pm

I would have to agree with the general consensus that the technology is too expensive rendering it frivolous for church needs. I made a joke to this effect last Sunday while shoveling snow at our local chapel:

In effect: Satan and his labor unions were negotiating for the contracts to install heated walks for all chapels in snowy areas to reduce the need to constantly shovel and to increase attendance by the elderly whom we wouldn't want to fall on ice. The savior introduced his more cost effective plan: it was called the Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthood!

The idea of Surface would be great for organizing different things within the ward especially using pictures. When we organized our hometeaching it took quite some time to enlarge and print multiple copies of lists on different colored paper to then cut them up and lay out on a table to assign elders as hometeachers, households, unnassigned, and other things we were interested in organizing for our quorum. I really like the magnetic whiteboard idea, that is what we did in our mission office and is a nice idea.

But in the end, the labor used for our by hand techniques is a priesthood labor which does save the church money when compared to utilizing something like Surface. However, technology and smarts on the part of the church, especially when deployed in a cost effective manner (as I believe it is today) has increased "prodcuctivity" in church matters and leveraged the efforts of priesthood leaders in phenomenal ways. Perhaps some day Surface will be cost effective.

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marianomarini
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Postby marianomarini » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:22 pm

Mostof all is a step back for a technology that is looking for smaller, portable and dressable equipements.
Instead I'm fascinating about tech blackboard,
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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:34 pm

This is another technology where science fiction had a hand in it. Very similar to the communicators in Star Trek that resemble in a way today's cellphones. That was 1967, cellphones didn't come out until 1982 a nd didn't become commonplace until ten years or so later as a mass-market product. Ditto for VCRs, DVD players, DVRs, etc.

In the movie Tron, the bad guy used a tabletop computing similar to what I envision Surface to do, and he sort of controlled the game going on (the bulk of the movie) from that. When he was beat, it only gave a few text lines, that appeared right near the end of the movie.

I don't see this becoming so commonplace soon that the Church will have to migrate to it, it takes some time after introduction for a technology to come even close enough to being a candidate for deployment in the Church, so this could take a number of years before it can be considered.

splassle
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Surface

Postby splassle » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:19 am

The church's website already allows pictures to be posted there. So maybe on the admin side of the website it would bring up all the information from mls to be populated there. Using Ajax and css, Like google you could customize the pages how you need. And with that when a person moves that picture and such will be moved with them.

The idea of having a surface to do it on would be cool. But why not look at the future such that you create a website/web portal that allows moving content around, and doing all that capability that you saw on the MS surface videos and then when it is viable to buy tablets with touch screen technology you only have to by the hardware.

What this allows is for non-platform specific programming and the ability to implement this now as an update to the websites.

Plus alot of that surface stuff can be done using the iphone or the Android phone.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:16 am

splassle wrote:The church's website already allows pictures to be posted there. So maybe on the admin side of the website it would bring up all the information from mls to be populated there. Using Ajax and css, Like google you could customize the pages how you need. And with that when a person moves that picture and such will be moved with them.

The idea of having a surface to do it on would be cool. But why not look at the future such that you create a website/web portal that allows moving content around, and doing all that capability that you saw on the MS surface videos and then when it is viable to buy tablets with touch screen technology you only have to by the hardware.

What this allows is for non-platform specific programming and the ability to implement this now as an update to the websites.

Plus alot of that surface stuff can be done using the iphone or the Android phone.

Along the lines of what you are saying, the Consumer Electronics Show a month ago had many companies showing off multi-touch monitors. And from what I read about Windows 7, it will have all the multi-touch software built right into the operating system. What you are suggesting is probably much more feasible and realistic than the Surface tables.
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kennethjorgensen
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Postby kennethjorgensen » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:03 am

All great innovation starts off as crazy ideas (simplified view) where you have to look beyond today and I agree with Tom as he points out that these sorts of ideas often gain real usage in areas different from what we think when they come out but the start has to occur in order for others to further develop its usage.

Now nearly 2 years later we have seen more products come out with touch screens especially on mobile phones and it will only go on. On top of that we also see movement detection becoming a big thing.

I also agree that "touch" feels a more natural way and it has potential in many areas, even in business usage outside of presentation.

crookdl-p40
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Surface in a Visitor's Center??

Postby crookdl-p40 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:51 pm

What about a table in a visitor's center? I played with a Surface at CES this year, and was intrigued by the possibilities. Visitors could view/download media clips and photos, learn about Temples, Chapels, Missionaries, etc...definitely not ready for primetime in the local meetinghouse yet, not at the current price.

I also played with multi-touch screens at CES, and was impressed with some of the neat things coming (though I must admit their actual usefulness has yet to be proved in my mind).
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