Thursday, June 11, 2009

Laptop to Tabletop - Microsoft's Surface Touchscreen Technology

Bets are on to see which law firm is the first to trial or implement the new Microsoft Surface in their reception area, their conference rooms, their training rooms, or in that IT savvy partner's office.

Although the legal world may struggle to find a true value based application (i.e. more than simply the gimmick factor) in the next few months for this technology (and not through lack of trying by some early adopters), we do see some small possibilities around using Surface in client meetings for live document reviews, and also using it to demonstrate matter workflows to clients. There perhaps may even be ways to use it in the areas of court preparation (but again, it is a stretch).

There are also some real possibility around knowledge sharing, story telling and demonstrations for KM training purposes which shouldn't go untested, and also lawyer/trainee professional training and moots (and other lecture forums) which should be thrown into the mix of possibilities.

All this is based on getting the technology at a reasonable price however - they are currently priced at around $US12,500 for the 30 inch touchscreen panel, and convincing the powers that be that this is more than simply a gimmick.

Australia's Lonely Planet has been an early adopter of the technology for their stores. Full article
here. Is there scope for using it within the non-retail/professional services market?

As above, it is a stretch to think that in today's economy a law firm will be running to embrace this, but we will no doubt see one or two firms work with Microsoft to find a way.

Move forward ten years and take a stab at guessing what the application will be used for - perhaps all our desks will be embedded with the technology, allowing for (among many other things) mobile and BlackBerry synchronisation as soon as you walk into your office and put the device down on your table!

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