Samsung and Microsoft 'Surface' Now Available

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Of all Steven Spielberg's bizarre ideas and visions of the future in 2002's Minority Report, few were more memorable than the seemingly multilayer, transparent floating touch screen window-computer-something that Tom Cruise flicked his gloved fingers across. And like Cruise, researchers at Samsung and Microsoft were probably fidgeting in their theater seats as ideas stormed their brains. Though the concept seemed lofty, the two companies' new SUR40, a giant tablet-like surface navigated by simultaneous touch control, seems like one step closer.

The SUR40 is a 40-inch full HD 1080p LCD LED panel made from Gorilla glass and runs on a Windows 7 platform. With Samsung's interactive touch technology and Microsoft's object recognition algorithm, the new type of touch screen technology - Sensors in Pixel - allows multiple users to control different areas of the screen. Each pixel has a camera element, today's press release said, enabling advanced gestures that allow the user to 'grab' digital information and manipulate it.

While this gigantic slate certainly impresses in aesthetics, it's also athletic. An AMD Athlon X2 245e 2.9GHz dual core processor does the work, and a 1GB Radeon graphics card is there to boost the visuals. With a 320GB hard drive and 4GB RAM, this surface is definitely a super-tablet.

Apps on the device will be open to developers, and Samsung says the device will be ideal for applications in fields such as hospitality, retail, healthcare and finance. The 4-inch thick table-sized slate also features connections to peripherals like bar code scanners, cameras and printers, the company said in the release today.

The standalone unit costs $8,400, and a table-top version will set investors back $9,049. At the moment the systems are available for preorder only and will ship in January.

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