Evonik is a Key Supplier for Microsoft SurfaceTM, Focusing on the Innovative Visual Interface Tabletop

(PresseBox) ( Essen, )
Under a strategic cooperation agreement with Microsoft Corporation, Evonik Industries AG will supply the projection tabletop for Microsoft SurfaceTM, Microsoft's first surface computing device, which enables users to interact with digital content on the tabletop through touch, gestures and objects placed on Surface. Composed of several PLEXIGLAS®-based optical function layers, including one rear projection film optimized specifically for Surface, the projection hardware allows the tabletop to be used for both viewing and input, opening up a wide range of new possibilities for Surface.

Dr. Klaus Engel, member of the Executive Board of Evonik with responsibility for the Chemicals Business Area, says: "For Evonik, the collaboration with Microsoft is another milestone on the way to becoming a complete system supplier combining functionality and design in an optimal manner."

"Microsoft is changing the way people interact with digital information, and the contribution of Evonik is helping to make that a reality," said Pete Thompson, general manager of Microsoft Surface. "Microsoft is bringing surface computing to life and transforming the way consumers around the world shop, dine, entertain and live."

Production in Germany

To better meet the demands of this new technology, Evonik plans to expand its capacity for production under clean room conditions at its Weiterstadt site in the course of 2008. Production of components for commercial display applications requires the highest degree of cleanliness because demands on optical quality are at the same level as for LCD television monitors. Up to fifteen new jobs will be created at the site, mainly in production and quality assurance.

Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is the ideal base for the visual interface based on its excellent optical and physical properties. The technical service and production expertise of Evonik enable PLEXIGLAS® components to be assembled in a complex sequence of process steps.

From personal computing to surface computing

Surface computing breaks down the traditional barriers between people and technology, providing effortless interaction with digital content. With Surface it is possible for multiple users to interact directly and simultaneously with the computer by touching the tabletop, without the use of a mouse or keyboard. Surface also features object recognition and will respond to objects placed on the tabletop, triggering different types of digital responses.

The size and shape of Surface make it possible for multiple users to interact with Surface at the same time, transforming the individual workstation of the PC into a collaborative experience. Surface is currently available in the US only and being developed in retail, hospitality, and entertainment environments where customers can access and interact with digital content directly on the tabletop. More information on Microsoft Surface can be found at www.surface.com.

Evonik is a worldwide manufacturer of PMMA products sold under the PLEXIGLAS® trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian Continent and under the trademark ACRYLITE® in the Americas.
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