Microsoft's next move: touchscreen ALL the surfaces

If you expected Microsoft to sit down and stop expanding their touchscreen-happy software environment now that it's clear Windows 8's aim at touchscreen laptops wasn't the mega-success they'd hoped it would be, you'd have been wrong. There's a group called Ubi Interactive out there this week which Microsoft has announced is taking orders on software to turn any surface (essentially any surface) into a touchscreen controller.

Ubi works with Kinect – that's Microsoft's movement-detecting camera that originates from the Xbox family and has now far outgrown its former gaming self. There's a Kinect for Xbox One appearing with purchase of said gaming console as well as a new generation of Kinect for PC, developed at the same time as the Xbox One edition and made for Windows. It's with Microsoft's Kinect Accelerator program that the folks at Ubi Interactive found the key to future success.

The Kinect Accelerator program is one in which Microsoft calls upon developers to work with Kinect to create new and inventive uses for the hardware with software builds unheard of. It was in Ubi that Microsoft saw lots of promise.

"By making it possible to turn any surface into a touch screen, we eliminate the need for screen hardware and thereby reduce the cost and extend the possibilities of enabling interactive displays in places where they were not previously feasible—such as on walls in public spaces." – Ubi Interactive CEO Anup Chathoth

Since the three-month Microsoft Kinect Accelerator program back in the Spring of last year, the company have beefed up their build to a point where Microsoft aimed them directly at the public with a full software release, one with more than 100 users in play-testing well before the push. The software release is occurring this week.

There's a collection of release levels, each with their own level of technical support, multi-touch points, and display size availability. Prices start a $149 and reach all the way up to an Enterprise level push with 20 points of touch over a 100-inch display for a cool $1499 USD. Sound like the deal for you?

Sound like something you'd use to get in the mood for Windows 8, the touch-friendly operating system, for the future?

VIA Microsoft