Embedded here is a video demo of the use of Surface technology in the AT&T retail store. It shows the user placing a Samsung Blackjack on the table and all of the features displayed in rich media with video and audio coming up about the phone. The user then places a Curve on the table and it instantly shows a feature comparison between the two phones. Pretty slick demo.
Today I was able to walk the conference floor at NRF and see what’s new and by far the most interesting (and busiest) demo was in Microsoft’s booth of their new Surface technology. The person running the demo ran through several applications with a constant crowd surrounding his area. I was able to get close enough to take some quick pictures. These pics and quick video are a snowboard customization demo and of a T-Mobile app for use in stores for comparing phones.
Yesterday I attended the JeffNJoe MSDN .NET Tiki Hut Roadshow in Palm Beach. Jeff and Joe presented Expression Web, Silverlight 1.0 and 1.1, and a mash-up using Virtual Earth. By far, the most interesting topic was Silverlight, Microsoft’s new Rich Internet Application(RIA) cross browser, cross platform plug-in. The 1.0 version available now, definitely looks and feels like Adobe Flash, however it has much improved video playback functionality including High Definition playback. Beyond the use for video, I wouldn’t seriously consider using it for RIA applications on a major ecommerce site because of limitations to available controls, development language availability, and that it’s a 1.0 environment. Beyond those issues, pervasive adoption of the plug-in is not there yet. If you decided to utilize Silverlight, your site will probably be the first one that a consumer would be exposed to it, therefore they will have to download the 1.1 meg plug-in and go through the installation, even though Microsoft has made it very seamless and easy to do.
Three of the most interesting demo’s shown that retailers can relate to were live streaming video of the HSN channel, Silverlight Airlines travel booking, and a prototype for viewing different home goods and furniture items in a room. (continue reading…)