The rumor mills are rolling with Microsoft’s foray into the Tablet PC race ever since Apple’s been said to be doing one. Bill Gates has been one of the strongest advocates of Tablet computing and it doesn’t surprise me that there were initial research prototypes of Tablet PCs. Gizmodo has done a scoop that shows Microsoft’s Tablet PC concept known as ‘Courier’.
The internal research project and the device was/is known as ‘Codex’ and not ‘Courier’. Here are some juicy details like hardware specs & images of the prototype:
First up the images:
Now for some tech specs:
So here’s what to expect:
Size: ~ 4”x6”
The orientation or the way in which this Tablet will be used is pretty much like a notebook and hence there are postures in which the device can be held or used. Here are some of the ‘postures’ that have been considered:
The folding form-factor of the Codex enables allows each screen to be viewed by a separate user. The Battleship, Face-to-Face, and Corner-to-Corner postures are the three primary collaborative postures of the Codex.
Automatic Posture Sensing & Manual Posture
The Codex software:
The Codex software is based on the InkSeine note-taking application, which provides a core set of inking, searching, and information gathering functionality that is critical to the Codex as a pen-operated tool for sensemaking tasks.
The Codex software adds support for sensing postures, network synchronization of user interface actions, and dual-screen operations.
The three-axis accelerometers to determine the orientation of the device relative to gravity, the angle between faces. A strategically placed microswitch senses detachment of each screen.
Taking down notes and quick thoughts is a ‘key individual task’ for the developers.
Core Dual-Screen Interactions
Synchronized Clipboards and Tool Modes
The clipboards of each screen’s notebook application are synchronized by default, so that the user can copy and paste objects across screens.
Tool modes (i.e. lasso selection, pen, highlighter, or eraser) are also synchronized so that the pen applies the same tool regardless of which screen the user writes on. During collaboration, the screens maintain independent clipboards and tool modes so that the users do not interfere with each others’ actions.
Here is a 5 minute video of Codex – the dual screen Tablet of Microsoft being demoed and used:http://blip.tv/file/get/IMav-MicrosoftTabletPrototype258.flv
Here is an article by the team behind Codex.