When the Real World Meets the Virtual World

originally posted on Concept Hub

I am a fan of good wine, but when I am asked what is my favorite wine or what kind of wines I like, my mind goes blank or I think a standard wine such as Kendall Jackson.

I have read that I should keep a “wine journal.” That is just one more thing for me to keep track of.

But what if we could go to a wine tasting event and when we placed our glass on the table the table would tell us everything we wanted to know about the wine such as the vineyard, region, price, aroma, what menu items it is served best with, other similar wines, and more. That would be cool. But what if the table then allowed you to send that information to your Facebook profile and to your wine group. That would be quite convenient.

What if I took some friends to a club and we were taking pictures that we would want to share and the club had a table where we could simply place the camera down to see the pictures and select which ones we want to share with our friends.

This same table could be convenient at a retail store when we select the clothing items we want and get fashion advice about what accessories would go well with the item. If the store we are at does not carry the shoes that would be perfect with the dress, we could make the purchase online from that same table. Imagine the shared revenue possibilities for retail not to mention the fact that we would reduce the amount of fashion disasters that happen.

All of these ideas are already in the works.

May 29, 2007, Microsoft announced the Surface table which according to Wikipedia has at least a 25-year history of being in development.

This is something you have to see to understand the possibilities.

According to Popular Mechanics

The name Surface comes from “surface computing,” and Microsoft envisions the coffee-table machine as the first of many such devices. Surface computing uses a blend of wireless protocols, special machine-readable tags and shape recognition to seamlessly merge the real and the virtual world — an idea the Milan team refers to as “blended reality.”

The article also describes how the table works.

The social media implications of this table as it becomes more available to the public are unlimited. We already carry our mobile devices to keep our friends up to date on the moment to moment happenings in our lives. Imagine when we can access our networks, our data and our presentations from our lunch table. How will this be possible? See the last post on this blog about cloud computing.

How far away is this? Not far at all. Microsoft is sending the table out to select companies as we speak. You may have already seen the table on the MSNBC Election Coverage.

Atlanta’s own Fuzebox, Inc, a partner of Concept Hub, Inc, has developed an application framework that Microsoft has evaluated as a Surface Table solution. Recently I learned that Fuzebox will be receiving their very own Surface Table, which I will have the privilege to play with.

Soon we will be wondering what is real and what is virtual…and when does it really matter?