söndag 17 januari 2010

Surface at PDC09

(Should have posted this two months ago… Found it as a draft in Live Writer today…)

At the last day of PDC 2009 I attended the only session about Microsoft Surface. It was presented by Robert Levy who is Program Manager for the Surface team and his equivalent from the WPF team. The session was interesting and it’s always to see the fun stuff that the Surface team has cocked up. This time it was the Surface Monster that stole the show. Videos and more info is available on http://www.surface.com/monster

The WPF-demos showed of the multi touch capabilities of WPF 4 where you can scale, rotate and transform objects on touch enabled hardware. The example is similar as in my previous blog post (multi touch). Please note that that example is for beta 1 for Visual Studio and that some things have changed to beta 2. I plan to post an upgrade soon.

The session was probably perfect for those who were new to touch or new to Surface and also draw some applauds from the crowd. For a developer already up and running with Surface it was fun but not much new. I would have liked to see another session on the program with Surface SDK Deep Dive or Performance Tips When Developing for Microsoft Surface or Surface from the Trenches – Experiences from a Real World Surface project. What I look for is more level of depth with two sessions, one introduction and one a bit deeper.

One new announcement was the Surface Touch Pack for Windows 7 that will enable you to use the same controls in WPF for Windows 7 as you do in Surface which is really cool! Robert also “announced” that they are working on units that will be cheaper, thinner and wall mountable. That wasn’t too hard to guess and no real details were available. I was hoping to hear something about Surface SDK 2.0 that hopefully will be on the way with some new controls, new gestures and maybe detection of a hand in the contact events.

Earlier on the conference I did get a chance to show the two applications that I have been part of the development team for, Sonicspree and HelpingHands. The feedback from Robert and another guy whose name I can’t remember were all positive. Not sure that they liked what we had done with the element menu but I think they bought the reasons we had for doing what we did. We have changed the behavior of the element menu in HelpingHands so that it will act more like a toggle menu and stick even when the user removes her finger.

All in all it has been a good PDC from a Surface point of view. Cool stuff on the session, one on one time with the team and confidence in that the applications we develop at Connecta are top notch!

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