Microsoft has unveiled Surface – a coffee table-shaped computer which is designed to be used without a traditional mouse and keyboard. Instead, users operate the system with their fingers via a touch-sensitive screen.
The computer also interacts with mobile phones once they are placed on its 30-inch screen, while small groups of people will be able to use the interface simultaneously.
Surface will initially sell for between $5,000 and $10,000 (£2,525-£5,050), reported the BBC. Unsurprisingly at that price point, Microsoft says it will initially sell the unit to corporate customers, such as hotels, casinos, mobile phone stores and restaurants. The firm does promise that cheaper versions will be available for homes within three to five years.
"We see this as a multi-billion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror," said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.