Microsoft introduces Surface Hub, an 84 inch “team device”

Microsoft revealed a new large format touch-sensitive device, intended for groups working together remotely or in the same conference room, called Surface Hub. This will run on Windows 10, and will leverage aspects of Office and Skype. This is the outgrowth of the company’s acquisition of touchscreen company Perceptive Pixel two years ago.

In the image below you can see the video images of two remote coworkers who are skyped into the meeting, while others are participating locally. The Surface Hub has two 1080p video cameras and microphones to act as a Skype client, and the camera and microphone track movement — using Kinect technology — so they point to the appropriate person in the room.

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Microsoft’s OneNote is the basis for the Whiteboard tool, which allows for annotation of other elements being displayed.

Microsoft is hoping to enlist other developers to build or port large format applications for the Surface Hub. The device has an 84 inch 4K display, with a very fast 120Hz refresh, so it should have very little or no lag.

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I have to say it: Microsoft may have built a category-defining device, one that seems a step ahead of Google’s Chromebox for Meetings. And where’s the Apple product for this niche? They have all the pieces, too.

Microsoft has not revealed price or release date. More to follow.