Today I tried the iBar from Mindstrom. They say that it is the first commercially available multi-touch, interactive, customisable bar in the world and, as far as I know has similar setup as Microsoft Surface. The form factor is different and that’s what makes the product really interesting but Surface seems way ahead when it comes to the technology side. Microsoft Surface feels more robust and has better 360-degree capabilities. In the demos I saw and tried there was no notion of orientation on the things placed on the bar.
The iBar is about four feet (120 cm) high and maybe seven feet (210 cm) wide but you can connect several iBars together.
We have talked about building some sort of podium for our Surface to be able to work at it standing. Today’s demo of the iBar convinced me even more. It is really hard to sit at a Surface-table for a longer period of time since you don’t really have a comfortable way of sitting around it. There is no where to place your legs.
I’m really looking forward to see what other form factors Microsoft are planning for coming versions of Surface!
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