Microsoft will give its big Surface Hub PC to universities that have ideas on how to use it

Microsoft first revealed its massive Surface Hub touchscreen PC in January as one of the devices built to run Windows 10. Now Microsoft Research wants to hear from universities and research institutes to get their ideas of how the Surface Hub can be used in all walks of life.

Microsoft says it is looking for serious academic proposals on how the Surface Hub can be used in the home, at school and at the workplace. It offers some examples of the kinds of things it is looking for:

  • Data visualization - Example: using touch enabled tools to manipulate data
  • Evolution of pedagogy in STEM, medical, and design education - Example: using Skype-enabled apps for education collaboration (e.g., interactive meetings for medical training)
  • Future of communication and distributed collaboration - Examples: remote training and support, and virtual conferences (e.g., use of multiple platforms and a variety of devices toward a common goal)
  • Human computer interaction - Examples: human-computer interaction around pen+touch, large displays, and second screen scenarios
  • Solving difficult problems and contributing new insights that are specific to the applicant's field.

Microsoft says it plans to reward 10 of the proposals with $25,000 and either a 55-inch or 84-inch Surface Hub. The institutions that receive this award are expected to use them as a basis to continue developing their proposal. Submissions must be turned in by June 12.

Microsoft has not yet revealed a launch date for the Surface Hub, nor a price point for the two models.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab); Via:

  • Give it to MIT. Bet they would do something crazy and cool with it.
  • Or MIB perhaps. :P
  • I would really like this to be in my University, I bet they could use it in a lot or really cool ways.
  • +1
  • 84" Surface Hub? Yes please.
  • Now, how do I found a University in time to make it to the deadline? :)
  • I have ideas too, Us U?
  • This was my thought.
  • This reminds me of the table Microsoft had back in the late 90s. Everyone kept insisting it should be used vertically, like a tv. But they never gave up on the table idea. It was the first multi-touch system I had seen. It predated the iPhone by many years.
  • I seem to remember that being called "the surface" - I could be mistaken but I remember thinking it was such a perfect name.
  • yeah, it was called surface and it wasn't 90s, it was mid 2000s :). It was a great idea and as far as I know still a thing.
  • I bought my Palm Pilot Professional in 1998. Many touch screen devices preceded the iPhone. Why the hell do people keep comparing stuff to the iPhone?
  • Because people have fallen under the spell of Apple. A company which only real achievement is mass marketing touch for the masses and making a ton of money on it.
  • Or as the conspiracy theorists will put it, "Apple is hitting people with subliminal messages in their adverts! Beware!". As far am aware this has not been proven :P. But yeah, some just make it like nothing was made prior to the iphone. Damn magpies lol.
  • But were they multi-touch devices?
  • That's probably better than what we have here, those run windows 7 enterprise
  • Depends, do you use Win32 apps?  Surface Hub will be Universal Apps only, despite the x86-64 CPU.
  • Win32 apps don't really support touch. It would be more like a giant monitor for a keyboard/mouse or pen. Win32 apps can be wrapped into a metro app. So, maybe they would work on this as well.
  • "Win32 apps don't really support touch."   - Not at all true.  Look at Office 2013/2016 or Adobe Lightroom for evidence of that. "Win32 apps can be wrapped into a metro app. So, maybe they would work on this as well."   - Nope, not going to happen.  Microsoft has explicitly said that Win32 will NOT be supported on this.  Universal apps only.  The most likely reason for this?  Microsoft designed this as a per-session device with no persistent data storage.  You email the data to meeting attendees at the end of the meeting.  They can force this in Universal apps, but in the free-for-all of Win32 applications, they have no control over this. (Relevant slide: )​
  • lovely Idea by Microsoft!
  • This is good for board meetings. Less for universities.
  • Can you elaborate why is not for students at universities? Have you ever been in a checker board trying to demonstrate a math theorem, but you don't know how to continue if your friend that knows advanced math is not near? With this you can actually let your remote friend help you to solve a math theorem since the board can be shared.
  • The idea isn't for Universities to figure out how Universities can use this in Universities.. Lol. You missssss the point..
    Rather, how Universities can come up with brilliant ideas how THE WORLD can use SurfaceHub..... Obviously, MS is looking for some terrific marketing, and sales point, ideas...
  • Teachers don't use white boards? Replacing a white board is one of many uses for this device.  Plus it records the session so you can send all the notes on the white board to the students.
  • I think Surface Hub is great for students to learn advanced calculus, differential equations, fourier transform, complex analysis, demonstrations and other subjects of advanced math. Since this lets students use a drawing board it gives you the freedom of being in a physical board with the advantage that your group of students can be from different universities.
  • I know how to use it myself. Give!
  • Don't be selfish. Lol
  • I'll share a pic.
  • Wahahaha!!❕
  • I have a few ideas... ;)
  • Here's an idea... Figure out how practical and useful something would be BEFORE you a start manufacturing... Personally I think Microsoft is wasting lots of time and money on this gigantic touch screen nonsense!
  • They already demoed a few good uses in a business setting. They want to get more ideas for educational settings. I was just in an office where every meeting room and manager office had several large screen TV on the walls. They were using it for video conferencing in the meeting rooms and to project info from a computer to show clients when they were in the manager's offices. However, a device like this can do that plus a whole lot more.
  • Microsoft bought Perceptive Pixel in July 2012, and that became this. Perceptive Pixel has been around since 2006 and has been selling devices since then. They have been around 9 years, but with your wise business you have decided that it is a bad business model, a waste of time and money, will fail, and know the business model better than Microsoft.  Maybe you should do some research BEFORE you start talking about thing you do not know about.
  • @nohone, the op got burrrned :P.
  • Th3, you seem to lack imagination, the opposite of visionary
  • That's a lot of money
  • Is watching porn on it a serious academic proposal?
  • Isn't porn always for educational purposes? I must've been misinformed then..
  • It taught me more than my parents.
  • This need to in my new school being built
  • I need that in my room. They should make this available for prosumers.
  • My house is my university of life...does that count...please...?
  • Interesting, if I was uni student I would be jumping all over this. Best of luck to those, who put forward their proposals to Microsoft :).
  • I can say this first: Implement the Microsoft Future Productivity Videos vision.