Microsoft launched its preview of Skype for Business just a few days ago, and although Skype has practically become a world standard in video communication, Microsoft wants to take things much further.
The Skype of today is just the beginning of what is set to be a powerful piece of software that not only breaks language barriers, but aims to have presence in even more places and devices in a much more profound way while being cross-platform compatible.
Microsoft sees Skype as an all-around communication tool that will be home to real-time annotations between users, and a much more compelling collaboration experience between users, all while breaking the language barrier.
Microsoft has demonstrated the power of Skype when used with HoloLens, with the use of Holograms and real-time holographic annotations. The newly announced Surface Hub, a giant 84” touchscreen display is another prime example of how Skype will push collaboration and meetings to a new level.
Although these examples are forward-leaning, Microsoft sees a future that is much more profound. Microsoft has released a video of how they see Skype evolving in their vision of the future. This video really gives you that wow effect, and not because it’s so futuristic, but because the future portrayed in the video doesn’t seem too distant when observing how rapidly Microsoft is evolving Skype.
Microsoft’s Surface Hub has been receiving a lot of positive attention since its unveiling. This giant PC certainly looks to be very capable and takes collaboration and idea sharing in the boardroom to a completely new level. Many are curious of what’s under the hood in terms of both processing power and featured specs as this thing certainly seemed pretty sophisticated during its unveiling.
Neowin has posted some information about the tech specs in the Surface Hub but not everything is known yet. We know that it will feature Intel-based CPU but that’s about it when it comes to processing info available. Here is what else we know about the Surface Hub:
Comes with a 55-inch 1080P display or 84-inch 4K display
Displays are both locked at 120HZ to have no lag while writing
Displays will be optically bonded to have extra clarity
It will support up to three pens simultaneously
Comes with two 1080P cameras and mic array
Features, Miracast, HDMI, NFC, Bluetooth and USB ports (no word on how many exactly)
It will run a slightly modified version of Windows 10
This is all that’s officially known at the moment, but as Microsoft publishes more specs and capabilities we will surely keep you up to date.
Another area which is particularly of interest to many is the pricing, as based on the original Surface (renamed to PixelSense) its already expected to be crazy expensive. However, Microsoft is committed to make the Surface Hub as affordable as possible, and if pricing is decent, this thing could even be adopted by small businesses or even for one’s home office.
For those of you interested in seeing this tech in action, take a look at Microsoft’s video below showing its use case scenarios and how writing, collaborating and syncing those projects would look like on phones, tablets and PCs.
A large 84″ touchscreen device hiding in plain sight throughout the event was unveiled towards the end of it, and Microsoft calls it the “Surface Hub”. This new Windows 10 device is a dream canvas for businesses as it takes collaboration to new levels and is aims to change the way ideas are shared and worked upon.
You’re able to use it with others to simultaneously draw on its large screen as shown in today’s demo. Surface Hub uses Microsoft’s state of the art digital inking technologies borrowed from the Surface Pro 3, and drawing on it while being in a Skype chat with other members who are collaborating with the document in real-time was also demoed today, looking rather impressive.
In addition, when a document on the canvas is finished being worked on, you’re able to take the content and copy on a tablet, smartphone or a PC for later uses. Users will also be able to project from the same devices to the Surface Hub for others to interact with. There will also be a tailored version of OneNote and Skype for Business built and ready for the Surface Hub at launch.
With the use of cameras, Bluetooth, WiFi, and various sensors on the device, it can detect you’ve picked up the pen and has a dedicated screen launch for you to start writing on. The demo Microsoft showed earlier was very impressive but there are many things we don’t know about it yet. Such as availability, cost and its tech specs. But this is one thing that surely looks promising and can perhaps change collaboration in business as we know it.
Check out the video demonstrating some of its uses:
If you’re an artist or a designer who uses the Surface Pen for drawing, the Windows button on the right-hand side of the Surface Pro 3 can get in the way as it can be accidentally tapped.
In an effort to improve Surface Pro 3 usability, Microsoft today released an update to the Surface Hub app to allow for this button to be disabled. This is great news as Microsoft made the promise a few months ago to roll out this handy feature, although we suspect majority of the users will not want to part-take in this.
This feature comes bundled in the Surface Hub app update along with other enhancements such as adjusting the Pen sensitivity and a the addition of a new feature called “User Education” which lets users find some useful info on their tablet.
Microsoft has just released an app called Surface Hub in the Windows Store which enable users to customize certain features of the pen on Surface Pro 3. This app will also work on other machines with a Stylus, but for now it only works with the latest Surface device.
You’ll be able to adjust the pressure sensitivity on your Surface Pen and select just which version of OneNote (modern or desktop version) the purple button on the pen opens when pressed.
You won’t be able to assign what the other buttons on the Surface Pen do yet, but we expect that Microsoft will enable this in a future update.
In addition to the adjustments, the app features a Feedback screen in which you can rate how likely you would recommend the Surface Pro 3 on a one through ten scale. There’s also a section where you would explain why you chose the score and a check-box you could check off to allow Microsoft to contact you for more information on your experience with the Surface Pro 3.
Overall this is a good step in the right direction for Microsoft as the Surface pen is a very useful tool and allowing the user to tweak it even further could be very beneficial to some people. However, in its current form the app is very basic and a work in progress, but it has potential. We look forward to seeing how Microsoft evolves this app, as the possibility for adding even more Surface accessory customization is quite intriguing.