Amid Microsoft's recent announcements, the huge pen display called the Surface Hub deserves some detailed focus, as it's one impressive novelty.
The newly-announced Surface Hub is an 84-inch, 4K display designed for conference rooms, aiming to make it easier for professionals to work and brainstorm together even over conference calls. A 55-inch model will also be available.
The Surface Hub uses a pressure-sensitive display that attaches magnetically to the side of the device, allows users to draw on the giant display, move things around with the stylus, and even erase things on the other end. Once a user removes the pen from the side of the machine, a brainstorming app reminiscent of OneNote will automatically pop up. When not in use, the pen charges through its magnetic cradle docked on the side of the display, although its battery life will reportedly last for weeks on a single charge. If it does drain all of its battery, the pen can regain another hour of use with just two minutes of charging.
"Unlock the power of the group with Microsoft Surface Hub, a powerful team collaboration device designed to advance the way people work together naturally," Microsoft touts.
"Make working together the most productive part of your day. Share your ideas with others on a canvas that is as big as your imagination. Bring teams together in a way that feels completely natural, with technology that doesn't intrude, but helps ideas flow. Expand what can be accomplished in the moment and then don't lose the momentum - capture your work so you can act on it later."
The built-in Skype for Business, for instance, will allow users to include others as they're brainstorming. The display further features several cameras that are strategically located to create the illusion of speaking face to face, at eye level, with people on the other end of the line.
"From no screen to 84", with Microsoft Surface Hub we introduced a new large screen device designed for the way teams in the workplace naturally interact and come together. Custom versions of Skype for Business and OneNote are integrated into the Windows 10 shell to take full advantage of the built in cameras, sensors and mics, as well as the new screen that was built from the ground up for ink and touch. The Surface Hub features state of the art digital white boarding, instant remote conferencing, the ability for multiple people to share and edit content on the screen from any device, and a trusted platform for large-screen apps. Available in two sizes - 55" and 84" - the Surface Hub removes the current limitations of traditional conference room scenarios to empower teams to create their best work together," further explains a post on the Windows blog.
Users will also be able to connect wirelessly to any Miracast-enabled device, which suggests that Surface Hub should also work well with Android phones and tablets. It's also worth pointing out that the Surface Hub is a Windows 10 PC, which means that it will be able to display any universal app.
It remains unclear at this point just when the Surface Hub will become available, or how much it will cost when it does, but Microsoft is expected to offer more details soon. We'll keep you up to date as soon as it does, so stay tuned.