Surface Computer

What Does Surface Computer Mean?

A surface computer is a computer which interacts with users through an ordinary object instead of through monitor and keyboard. Commands are input through the use of bare hands by touching or dragging the surface of a designated interface. The surface of the computer is usually a smooth horizontal or vertical display where users can interact with the machine. A surface computer uses the fingers’ electrical properties to detect touch.


Techopedia Explains Surface Computer

First designed by Microsoft in 2007, surface computers quickly received media attention due to their unique utilization of a multi-touch interface system using an object as simple as a kitchen table. Users can configure their own real-world objects with a bar code as a means to interact with surface computers. Similar to today’s multi-touch devices, this computer was enabled with touch and drag commands to display, hide, enlarge, cut, copy and paste multimedia data. A Bluetooth device such as a camera placed on the interface surface was detected and accessed by the computer. The product was renamed to “Microsoft PixelSense” in 2012 after Microsoft gave the “Surface” name to their line of tablet computers.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.