Microsoft Surface is like that screen computer that Cruise uses in Minority Report. Except it's horizontal and you don't get to wear a glove.
At prices starting around the £3000 mark it's not quite consumer friendly but i'm hoping these will start springing up in public places in the next few years so we can see whether they work as well as that video makes out. Only through use will we actually discover if they provide a benefit.
I can't at the moment see how placing two phones on Microsoft Surface and shifting e-photos visually is any easier than selecting the photos on someone's phone and bluetoothing to another. Although an easier way to split the bill will be nice, will it stop stingy friends though?
Hopefully there will be a way of customising Microsoft Surface to understand what you want just from the actions you do. For example, it's 8am in the morning and you place a bowl of cereal on the table - Surface navigates to the breakfast news; it's 11pm you place a cup of tea on the table - it navigates to a football website; it's 11pm you put two cups of tea on the table - it plays romantic music.
It can't be long before people develop video games for Microsoft Surface, air hockey would work well, shove ha'penny would be even better. And from the marketing perspective it could be a way of advertisers really understanding their consumers. For example, a consumer places the book they're reading on the table, it surreptitiously scans the barcode and then shows adverts related to that subject matter. Much hilarity will then ensue when you try and fix the advertising by selectively putting different books on the table.
I found a hotel press release about using Microsoft Surface in hotel rooms that states you can pay for things 'all with the drop of a credit card'. If Microsoft Surface works by just placing a credit card on it you'll have to be very careful where you put things down. You're tired, you get in to your room, you drop your wallet on the table, bam! You've bought a massage and a continental breakfast.
Now watch Tom Cruise using it, with a glove: