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September 26, 2013

Clicking In –Thinking Beyond Keyboards

On Monday, we introduced you to the next generation of Surface: Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2. There was an incredible energy when we showed our new products. Beyond the devices, we gave people a glimpse into where we are going with Surface and what it truly means to click in and do more. The Surface Remix Project showed that productivity can go well beyond Microsoft Office and click in keyboards. We showed how you could click in a special cover that let you remix your favorite songs and share them with the world.


Now let me rewind the clock back a little over three weeks. As we thought about what else we could click in to a Surface, we thought it would be interesting to leave Redmond and get a different perspective. A small group of us – myself and a few folks from Surface – traveled to Pasadena California for a three-day design workshop with a group of design students at the Art Center College of design. The group of students we worked with were students from industrial design, graphic, interaction and information design. A diverse team, just like our team in Redmond. What happened there was super awesome.

Over the course of the three day workshop, the students came up with tons of concepts on how to extend interactions into the physical space. From art and music blades to science, fashion, commerce and incredible blue sky concepts like solar panel blades and context/location aware blades, these students, who barely slept over the three-day workshop, took the spark of an idea to places previously unimagined. They felt like a part of the design team. Their passion for their ideas was so inspiring that we decided to share this out with the world.

Erik Anderson, a talented filmmaker and Art Center alum, directed a behind the scenes video of the Art Center design project which gives you a glimpse into the students’ ideas. Stay tuned for a longer version as well, which we’ll be releasing next week.

Think about your workplace. Do you work in healthcare, manufacturing, do you work in a creative discipline, like art or design, or are you on the road with clients? What type of blades would help you do more? Think about your home life, entertainment, gaming, how your kids use tablets, how you use them in the kitchen, the living room, which apps you love. What type of blade would you want?

Ralf Groene
Creative Director for Surface