Lessons lerned with PixelSense (Sur40)

The first i have to mention is Microsoft changed the Name of the Sur40 Table in PixelSense and the new Microsoft Windows 8 Tablet is called Surface. Hmmm, yepp.

Every year we have our education camp at Zühlke in this time we have 3 days hands on. This year one project was to get some experience with the PixelSense.
Our task was to develop a Point-of-Sale Framework in three days with 10 engineers to show our Zühlke project notes.
The idea behind this framework is to show independent infromation on the PixelSense.


With this generic framework you are able to develop your own data adapter and with it you can show your information with your individual surface GUI in your own application, in an easy way.  

Used Technologies

  •  PixelSense (Surface Table)
  • Windows 7
  • WPF
  • Surface SDK
  • Visual Studio 2010
  • TFS 2012
  • Blend 4


The demo application is a simple information System for the Zühlke project notes. You can filter your project notes with a cube. The cube is tagged. Also you can filter for special categories.
After it you can drag you project note to the screen and you can work with it in team. The whole application is multi user able.

Here are our positive findings:
  • Blend integration works fine
  • SDK is a good starting point
  • Tag recognition is working
  • Multi-User work experience works fine
  • Usable application in three days
The PixelSense is an eye catcher but the whole technology is not well engineered. It is very slow and the optical sensors sometimes useless, especially when the sun is shining. In generally the PixelSense seems to have a lot of problems with the lighting situation. It seems it is the best to use it only in the dark. Our demo information System works OK but for a 8000€ table i expect a little bit more.  

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