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  1. #1
    How is Msft's Surface NOT a patent infringement on Multi-Touch?!

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    Question How is Msft's Surface NOT a patent infringement on Multi-Touch?!
    Take a look at this:
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tec...he.surface.cnn

    How in the world can they do this when Apple's Multi-Touch is supposedly so armored in patents? My only guess is that they're only using conventional touch technology (it doesn't look like they're ever using more than two input points) and just stealing the application ideas.

    Even if the above is true, it's still frustrating that they're so blatantly ripping off Apple's year-old ideas to much CNN fanfare.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    How is Msft's Surface NOT a patent infringement on Multi-Touch?!
    knightlie's Avatar
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    There have been experimental Surface-like interfaces for a while - you can find them on YouTube, I think, they're nothing new and certainly nothing MS dreamt up. I would guess that Apples patents don't relate to the basic function of the device.
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  3. #3
    How is Msft's Surface NOT a patent infringement on Multi-Touch?!

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    I have seen those YouTube videos, and was under the impression that almost all of them were Apple Multi-Touch testers.
    I do think you're right about the coverage of the patents, though.

  4. #4
    How is Msft's Surface NOT a patent infringement on Multi-Touch?!

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    Not sure if I've got my facts right, but I read somewhere that the Surface device is NOT a touch screen device. As in, the screen is not touch sensitive. Its got some kind of optical sensors somewhere hidden in the four corners which map out the touches. So its a different concept (albeit, the same) from the Multi touch on the iPhone.

    Also, Apple might have patented it or been able to patent it only on Mobile devices.

  5. #5
    How is Msft's Surface NOT a patent infringement on Multi-Touch?!
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    If it were as simple as making a patent for multi-touch, Apple would be the one in hot water since the concept was designed and developed a long time ago by some guy who's name I can't recall now. He's pretty famous and has quite a few videos of his giant, "Minority Report"-like touch screens.
    "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"

  6. #6
    How is Msft's Surface NOT a patent infringement on Multi-Touch?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by goobimama View Post
    Not sure if I've got my facts right, but I read somewhere that the Surface device is NOT a touch screen device. As in, the screen is not touch sensitive. Its got some kind of optical sensors somewhere hidden in the four corners which map out the touches. So its a different concept (albeit, the same) from the Multi touch on the iPhone.
    Goobimama is correct. Microsoft's Surface uses hundreds of infrared sensors that detect when the beam is broken across the surface of the device. Apple's Multi-Touch senses for capacitance.

    This is why Surface can detect things like cell phones and glasses whereas Multi-Touch can only detect things that conduct a charge, such as your finger. Which is why you can't use things like pens or a stylus to control the iPhone or iTouch.

    So while both technologies center around the principle of using one's hands to manipulate objects on a screen, the underlying technology is radically different, and hence, patents are not violated.

    It should also be noted that this isn't something that Microsoft pulled out upon the launch of the iPhone at Macworld 2007. Microsoft has, in fact, been working on this for quite some time. It was just coincidence that both were exhibited in the same time period.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  7. #7
    How is Msft's Surface NOT a patent infringement on Multi-Touch?!
    knightlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xwonderboy85x View Post
    I have seen those YouTube videos, and was under the impression that almost all of them were Apple Multi-Touch testers.
    Nope. The ones I saw were university researchers, if I remember correctly. Certainly not Apple guys.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kash View Post
    Goobimama is correct. Microsoft's Surface uses hundreds of infrared sensors that detect when the beam is broken across the surface of the device. Apple's Multi-Touch senses for capacitance.
    Correct. It also sounds like a typical Microsoft botched solution that, in practice, will be inaccurate and error-prone.
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