Western Australia’s Curtin University of Technology and ANZ Bank have both flagged plans to deploy Microsoft’s Surface multi-touch tabletop system, which went on sale in Australia today.
The platform — which was first announced in May 2007 — has been available internationally for some time, and has been used for purposes as varied as military tactical overviews and in restaurants. It provides a computer screen as large as a small table that acts as a touch screen that users can interact with.
Curtin chief information officer Peter Nikoletatos said the platform would foster new collaboration opportunities and provide “an engaging educational tool”, in a statement issued by Microsoft this morning, although he did not reveal exactly how the university would use the technology.
ANZ group general manager of innovation and former CIO, Peter Dalton, said the bank would use the experience gained from using Surface to work out how it could use touch and surface-based technologies to make managing money simpler and more exciting. The bank had already showed off two Surface units at the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne last month.
Four Australian partners have signed up build applications and solutions on top of surface. They are local digital marketing agency Amnesia Razorfish, IT services outfit Object Consulting, software firm nsquared and digital product design agency Automatic Studio.
Microsoft Australia managing director Tracey Fellows said the software giant had received “strong interest” from Australian organisations in Surface, including from developers that wanted to create applications “not possible with other technologies”.
In the statement, Microsoft did not disclose Australian pricing for Surface, however technology site techAU reported a retail Surface unit would sell for AU$21,000, compared to US$12,500 in the United States, with the developer unit selling for A$24,000 locally and US$15,000 in the US.
Image credit: Microsoft