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Surface SDK 2.0 Targets Windows Touch Devices

by Abel Avram on Jul 12, 2011 |

With Microsoft Surface SDK 2.0 one can write applications for both Surface and Windows Touch devices.

Surface 2.0 is not compatible with Surface 1.0 devices, and so far the only compatible device is Samsung SUR40, a 4”-thin 40” device with HD resolution and Pixel Sense, a technology able to handle more than 50 simultaneous touches, recognizing the objects touching the surface. These details have been public for a while, but Microsoft has just made available Surface SDK 2.0. One of its key features is the ability to target Windows Touch devices, that is Windows 7 computers with touch input, so this SDK serves a much larger spectrum of devices. If there are very few Surface devices out-there, there are lots of Windows Touch ones, and their number is poised to grow.

Windows Touch applications are very similar to Surface ones, except that the later supports full HD resolution and a multitude of touch related inputs, such as finger and blob recognition, tagged objects, tilted display, rotated display, etc.

Surface 2.0 comes with two development layers:

  • Presentation Layer – WPF-based development that is suitable to most applications, offering a rich set of pre-built touch-enabled controls plus XAML support
  • Core Layer – XNA-based development for high-end graphics such as 3D animation or rendering with custom pixel shaders.

Some of the new features in SDK 2.0 are:

  • Support for HID-based input
  • The input simulator tool simulates all types of touch inputs
  • The SurfaceUserControl class has been dumped for the UserControl one in .NET 4.0 which supports touch
  • Tool for converting Surface 1.0 applications to 2.0.

MSDN Surface documentation contains more information on SDK 2.0, while Surface.com offers details on this Natural User Interface technology from Microsoft.

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