Microsoft’s Surface multitouch table is all well and good, but unless you’re a regular drinker, hotel guest or TV host you probably won’t have much contact with it. Thankfully that could be changing; a recent Microsoft survey is quizzing participants on the idea of a table-top computing device codenamed “Oahu”, which would offer the same multitouch input but in a far more compact format.
“The following questions refer to a computing device called “Oahu” that has an innovative multi-touch screen. Oahu is a flat screen that sits horizontally like a table top. You can interact with Oahu by touching the screen, instead of using a mouse, and more than one person can interact with Oahu at the same time. You and others can move objects on the screen with your hands and touch icons to open up programs, games, or music. People using the device can also use their fingertips to expand and shrink objects on the screen. The screen recognizes people’s hand movements and touches and reacts accordingly. You can bring up an on-screen keyboard to input information. Oahu also works with other devices (such as digital cameras, cell phones, and MP3 players) by getting information from or sending information to them. Oahu is on with no waiting time to start up. Oahu can come as a freestanding table, placed into a piece of furniture, or built into a countertop. The type of Oahu devices we are asking about today are not portable but if they are furniture or tables, they can be placed anywhere in your home” Microsoft Oahu description
Microsoft describe Oahu as being a non-portable flat display that sits horizontally like the Surface. As with the original, multiple touch-points and gestures are recognized; it also synchronizes with mobile devices placed upon it and has casual gaming functionality.
Users responding to the survey are asked to rate their interest in its features, and how likely they would be to buy such a device should Oahu reach the market. Microsoft even suggest a target price of $1,499, which frankly seems like a steal.
Of course, research doesn’t necessarily mean actual products are going to follow, but given the public interest in Surface and the fact that Microsoft are releasing the SDK and running developer sessions devoted to it at PDC this month, it looks a little more possible.