When me and Jouni were at the Surface training in Munich Jouni wrote an application that uses the raw images from the cameras. The table consists of five cameras, four cameras that take pictures of the corners and one that takes a picture in the center. Then there is a process that goes from the raw images to a binary version of the image with each pixel either black or white for faster processing. The screen is divided into a grid containing one-inch squares. The next step is to place each frames contact data into shared memory and tell the SDK that data is available and ready to use.
The fact that cameras are used and not just a touch screen is what makes Microsoft Surface so special. Things that happen on the surface are recognized and even things that happen above the surface are noticed. About one inch above things starts to happen.
The course that we attended took place at one of Microsoft’s Technology Centers (MTC). There are three MTC in Europe, Dublin, Paris and Munich. On these centers Microsoft have three types of offerings, Strategy Briefing, Architecture Design Session and Proof of Concept Workshop. The center was really great even if the lunch was a logistical challenge. You can read more about the centers here: http://www.microsoft.com/mtc/default.mspx
I had to try Jounis application and the quality of the images that you get from the cameras with my face. "Thank god they can be cleaned was Dr Niels diagnosis."