Multi-touch computer as an expensive coffee table

It seems like the time is ripe for new technology in the way we view media and interact with computers.  First we saw wearable monitors, and now Microsoft’s come out with a tabletop touch screen with a range of applications.  The Microsoft Surface will be available only to companies at first, so it’s got applications for ordering food, a map function to help you find your way in a mall or hotel, and a jukebox function compatible with the Microsoft Zune ("subject to DRM restrictions, of course").  Possible home functions include Paint, a photo application, and a sort of jigsaw puzzle where each piece displays part of a movie and you must arrange them in the proper order.

At a launch price of $5,000-$10,000, it’s just as well your average Joe won’t be able to buy it.  But Microsoft hopes the price will come down as demand grows and technology gets cheaper.  And when it gets cheap enough, I’ll be there ready to play at being John Anderton (without the cops chasing me, of course).

(image from kjd)