In which a Tech Crunch writer is invited to a Surface Garage in Microsoft HQ Seattle …
Devin Coldewey gets invited to a Garage meeting. For those not in the know, the Garage is a term that is used inside of Microsoft for groups of people who passionately develop independent software outside of working hours. This creative activity is highly encouraged by Microsoft. This particular invite was for a Surface Garage – ‘stuff’ that involved a Microsoft Surface.
Very nice article from Devin, where he gets super impressed with the cross-section of people who work on these side projects, and the amount of design details that go into writing a feature from scratch.
A snippet –
Last was an interesting fusion of two innovative Microsoft products: the Surface and the Kinect. This is a sort of “morning briefing” app that is meant to run on your living room’s idle TV, which one can imagine may some day have a touch panel and depth sensing camera built in. Today it was an upright Surface 2.0 and a stock Kinect.
You always see people in movies set in the future talking to their computers, controlling them with a gesture, and so on. This is a small-scale attempt at something like that that people might actually use. When you’re at a distance, it displays large-granularity info like the weather, upcoming appointments, and so on. You can say “mail” and it’ll switch to email, or “calendar Wednesday” and it’ll switch to that. And when you approach, it senses your proximity with the Kinect and switches to a touchscreen mode where you can touch the news and email items and read them.
All put together by one guy, admittedly using APIs developed by hundreds, but a fun demonstration of what’s possible with the project right now.
For the full deal go [here].