Wednesday's release of Microsoft's interactive multi-touch table "Surface," which uses cameras to sense objects, hand gestures and touch, made a significant splash with drolling techies but some are scoffing at the device technology for being less than "new." Case in point: When YumSugar went home to her fiancé Wednesday and asked him if he had seen the Surface table he said, (presumably in a sarcastic Napoleon Dynamite voice) "Yeah, I liked it a lot when I saw it two years ago." Ever the knowing geek, he forwarded me Jeff Han's presentation of the futuristic multi-touch interface in 2006. Han is a research scientist for NYU's Media Research Lab, and the inventor of an "interface-free" touch-driven computer screen.
Touch screens are no longer a thing of the future and devices like the iPhone and Prada phone have put them in the hands of your average consumer, but it does seem like the Surface table's technology is more of a thing of the past than the future.