Microsoft’s multi-touch Surface technology was first announced in 2007 and used by US media organisation MSNBC as part of their coverage of the 2008 presidential elections and now is available for the Irish public to interact with as it debuts today in Dublin.
Microsoft’s advanced touchscreen technology with a natural user interface allows for multiple users and multiple gestures and can interact with not only human touch, but objects placed upon its surface.
The National Library, Dublin, will play host to this technology as old, precious books and manuscripts that were too fragile to be exposed to light or air can now be pored over by members of the public in their new, virtual and interactive incarnation in the form of the Discover your National Library exhibition.
The National Library exhibition is being opened today by the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, Martin Cullen, TD, and Paul Rellis, MD of Microsoft Ireland at 2-3 Kildare Street.
Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, Paul Rellis, MD, Microsoft Ireland said: "We are delighted to have partnered with the National Library of Ireland to help improve the access to these rare treasures and documents. This project shows the true potential that technology has in helping to bring arts and culture to more and more people.
"We hope that by digitising this collection, and by helping to bring it online, we will encourage more people to explore and research the extensive range of treasures housed in the Library."
Catherine Fahy, keeper of outreach and preservation at the National Library of Ireland said that the rich vsual experience of the Microsot Surface computer with Silverlight technology gave visitors a chance to see exhibits in fine detail not previously possible.
By Marie Boran