The untold story of Microsoft’s Surface Hub - Sound & Video Contractor

The untold story of Microsoft’s Surface Hub

By Harry McCracken, Fast Company
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
web3046819-inline-jeffwithscreen.jpg

Jeff Han, GM for Surface Hub

A company in flux. A secret factory outside Portland. And a hyper-ambitious gambit to reimagine how meetings happen...Microsoft hasn't played up the fact that it has a major operation in Wilsonville, OR. Actually, it's been downright stealthy about it....But since March 2014, the building is where the company has been engineering the device Jeff Han has been showing me, the Surface Hub....Microsoft held back one of the most intriguing facts about this Windows 10 machine until now: It not only designed the Surface Hub but is about to begin manufacturing the thing itself, in 70,000 square feet of factory space in the Wilsonville building, steps away from where the hardware was engineered. "We don’t actually manufacture the LCD panel," Han explains. "But that’s pretty much the only thing we don’t make here. For the 39-year-old Han, the impending release of the Surface Hub is the fullest expression yet of a mission he's been pursuing for more than a decade. The world first took note of it in 2006, when he was a computer-science researcher giving a TED talk in Monterey, California, about an intuitive new computing interface called multi-touch.In the pre-iPhone era of 2006, what he showed was mind-bending; the video version of his presentation became one of the first TED talks to go viral. He then parlayed his fame into a startup, Perceptive Pixel (PPI), which sold pricey screens to everyone from the Department of Defense to Disney. Microsoft acquired the company in 2012... MORE@FastCompany

Featured

Related

Cynthia Wisehart on AVIXA InfoComm

As we go to press, the first AVIXA InfoComm looms over my calendar like a Royal Wedding with what feels like just as many moving parts. I have my shoes picked out (Camper wedges alternating with Ecco Biom Fjuel racers if you must know), which judging from my Twitter feed puts me ...read more

bc

Need to Know: The Blockchain Platform

Editor’s Note: Welcome to NewBay’s inaugural edition of Need to Know, where we explain complex topics and demonstrate how they apply to each industry we serve. Need to Know stories appear on our websites and in our magazines. Keep coming back for future topics, to include 5G, ...read more

Cynthia Wisehart on Alexa

Voice control is gaining steam and it seems a genuine possibility that it could replace the swipe as the default workflow for… everything. It also seems possible—from my conversations with some commercial AV manufacturers that is being taken quite seriously in our industry. So ...read more

Cynthia Wisehart on The Wire

As we go to press, SVConline has moved to a new web platform. I really like it. I hope you will too. It’s much faster and allows us to use more art and video and make our longstanding podcast series more visible. I want to use this opportunity to re-introduce you all to one of ...read more

LA-Phil-Seating-980x650

Valentine's get out of jail

Today is Valentine's Day. I'm sure you've thought of this idea many times, but this is a reminder. Concert tickets. Theater tickets. Grungy local band at the local pub tickets. Your local philharmonic, music festival, jazz nightclub.... Something in the future, something ...read more

fc_16_9

Cynthia Wisehart on Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is often misunderstood as effecting internet service speeds for consumers—much the way some users experienced throttling or other forms of sluggish service to their devices. But there is something much, much more important at stake, for all of us as citizens, and ...read more