Tables and technology…they are not your usual bedfellows. While technology is forever updating, reinventing itself with every coffee-and-biscuits brainstorm at Sony-Ericsson or Google, Inc., a table is something that has not changed in centuries. Putting it at its simplest, it is a flat surface with four horizontal legs. Nothing whizz-kiddy about that. Until relatively recently, the nearest a table got to being computerised was if someone came along and plonked a PC monitor and some wires on top. Maybe even a tablet!.
Our technologically-driven and media-hungry society means that even the humble table is now being propelled screaming into the 21st century. As people desire a more technology-centric existence where the internet, documents, pictures etc are always on hand and easily accessible, the fake pine dinner table may soon find itself relegated to a dusty shed or the local charity shop.Interactive coffee tables have already been making special appearances at numerous fairs and expos, setting tech and gadget-watchers’ tongues collectively wagging.
Korean electronics giant Samsung is already leading the way with its range of televisions, PC screens, and is now heavily dominating the smartphone market with its Galaxy and Note offerings. The super-boffins in Seoul did not just stop there. They took a ordinary boardroom table, applied some high-tech knowhow, added a 40-inch PC with touchscreen and gave birth to the SUR40. A chief executive’s dream machine.
According to Shortlist magazine, the SUR40 is a forward, but relatively simple concept. The widescreen PC that serves as the tabletop is 4 inches thick, supported by what HEM presumes to be toughened aluminium or stainless steel legs that look like they were hastily borrowed from a Argos television stand. The touchscreen is made from patented ‘Gorilla Glass’ from Corning – the same fingerprint-proof tough material Samsung used for the Galaxy SII and SIII. In fact the screen is sufficiently strong to support a whole round of office teas.
The software inside the ‘table’ is very much au courant. PixelSense gives the LCD screen the ability to detect with infrared signals any object placed on or near the table, enabling a user to hold a video or Powerpoint presentation, flip it around and zoom in, using just a couple of fingers. The SUR40 can even read text placed face-down on the surface, making it ideal for saving and distributing documents to the whole team at your company’s weekly sales analysis.
The SUR40 means no more costly and clunky projectors and laptops being carried from one room to another. It would have a positive impact on the environment too, as offices no longer have to prepare paper handouts for distribution to colleagues at meetings. As companies become increasingly keen on their green credentials and aim to save trees, the SUR-40 may be a high-demand item to help support corporate social responsibility objectives.
It could also be a feature of university seminars and may revolutionise teaching in schools . The cost however is a bit prohibitive. On online retailers like jigsaw.com SUR40s are selling for £9354.00 a piece, which includes the easy-to-attach legs, so you might want to hold to your desktop just a little longer. It requires some dexterity too, with Shortlist describing it as “akin to conducting an orchestra”. Its simple no-frills design and usability however could soon see it making an appearance at an AGM near you…and hopefully not at a branch of Barnardo’s.
See the Samsung SUR40 doing its stuff: