Virtual buttons on the display (hardware buttons and controls disappearing) are a nice advance on touch screens so iPhone has a great future in the realm of portable devices, but the small display limited by what a human can comfortably carry. While in the presence of a Surface machine, the Apple method can act as an independent set of controls while the Surface handles the general needs of the local audience.
I said all that to say the following: Here's an example of what can be done to build a 3D experience in visual displays and it's not difficult from this simple sample to understand how the convergence of virtualized software can further involve the "hardware" of machine and human in defining the software's function and service rendered.
Items like the following example will translate well on a Surface machine.
June 11th, 2007
Using a robotic arm to scan the Iliad
Posted by Roland Piquepaille @ 10:47 am
The idea is “to use our 3-D data to create a ‘virtual book’ showing the Venetus in its natural form, in a way that few scholars would ever be able to access,” says Matt Field, a University of Kentucky researcher who scanned the pages. “It’s not often that you see this kind of collaboration between the humanities and the technical fields.”
Passing about an inch from the surface, the laser rapidly scanned back and forth, painting the page with laser light. The robot arm knows precisely where in space its “hand” is, creating a precise map of each page as it scans. The data is fed into a CAD program that renders an image of the manuscript page with all its crinkles and undulations.