According to Microsoft, we have three classes of computers: the fixed desktop, the mobile laptop, and the ultramobile device. The lines have blurred between the mobile and ultramobile classes, as smaller & lighter notebooks and increasingly larger mini-notebooks & portable media players are introduced into the consumer market.

In the future, these classes will converge into a multi-touch composite with a novel form fact that will bring three-dimensional interactivity to flat surfaces and open spaces, with applications in distance communication and augmented reality. It will provide an immersive, intuitive, and revolutionary user experience with two modes of operation: single and collaborative.

We will not be limited to standard keyboard and mice. Instead, the future computer will accept multimodal input and incorporate sight, sound, and touch in synchrony. Our displays will not be isolated graphical output screens, but rather mixed reality planes.

Next-generation interactive displays and immersion technologies:

  1. Picoprojection: holographic, HD
  2. Flat panel displays: OLED, e-Paper/e-Ink, novel optics, rich visualizations
  3. Sensing technologies: optical/audio/resistive/capacitive sensors, 3D range-sensing cameras (human body tracking), image & voice recognition