Of all the new Surface products announced this week, the one that caught most everyone off guard was the Surface Headphones, an upcoming $350 set of headphones with Cortana integration, capacitive touch controls, and advanced noise cancellation. But as it turns out, Surface Headphones could be the first step in a bid to "[complete] the Surface experience," according to a new interview with Surface head Panos Panay.
Speaking with The Verge, Panay commented on the impetus behind creating the Surface Headphones, driving towards that idea of a complete Surface Experience. From Panay:
Now that the company is designing these products as one company, the tech is evolving where we want it to be… there was an opportunity to complete this thing in a way that I'm passionate about and that the team is passionate about. Just like a Surface, there are a few little elements that we can bring to the table that are transformative for your experience in getting things done.
Further in the interview, Panay also hinted that Microsoft isn't done with exploring new ideas for this complete experience. Turning his attention to the Surface Hub 2, Panay hinted that we could eventually see a USB-C camera based on the Hub 2's high fidelity shooter.
Look at the camera on Surface Hub 2, note it's a USB-C-based camera, and the idea that we can bring a high fidelity camera to an experience, you can probably guess that's going to happen. Is it completing an experience or bringing the next level of an experience to something that you wanted, even if it's not Surface? I've been looking at all of that. While I won't announce a new product, I think that's important. I really think the completing of experience is our design from Microsoft that's hardware and software.
Surface Hub 2 notably also features a modular design that allows users to upgrade its internals. And it turns out that is something Panay could see trickling down to the Surface Studio at some point – though that's far from a guarantee. When asked whether a modular design may be in the cards for Studio, Panay responded:
Probably, you look at it and you see what's the evolution and how do we make it better for our customers. Yeah, there's still so much more to do, and while I won't tell you what it is you can put stories together.
In any case, Microsoft is certainly focused on filling out its Surface lineup with a cohesive experience that encompasses more than just its PCs. The Surface Headphones and various mice and keyboards are just a part of that, but we could potentially see more surprising additions going forward.
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