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Surface Development


Chucking out the mouse just feels right; this is the way it should be.
Visual Fusion Experience for Surface

IDV Solutions developed a WPF version of VFX for the Microsoft Surface for a security client recently.  The the geographic navigation controls native to VFX were enhanced by the fun availability of multi-touch user input, similar in feel to the intuitive drag-stretch-fling-pinch-twist sort of actions had in an iPhone -only on a ginormous screen.

Unlike most touch technology, there is not a pressure sensitive membrane or monitors at the x and y axis waiting to square-out input.  In the case of the Surface, there is a near infra-red camera sitting at the bottom of the unit looking up at the screen.  And it is actually pretty stellar at allowing many sets of hands work the screen simultaneously.  One person can pinch and twist the map to navigate and spin, while another filters feed inputs, while still another dials an outbound call.  It’s like a data-driven air-hockey table.

Enabling Big Brother or promoting public safety…or promoting the big safety of an enabling brother?
Live Camera Feeds

Here, I zoomed into the street level in Redmond and activated a live street camera of I-405.  I can go right up along the highway selecting the cameras and seeing the live traffic status, and contact security offices nearby if there is any trouble.

Tall things = more important things.  Hopefully this isn’t translated too directly in real life (I’m only 5’7").


Each tracked asset is extruded vertically based on some data value, in this case, number of employees working within.  It’s a visualization that does a pretty good job of communicating a large data set at a glance and imparting relative importance. -Tall things are more important to me because it represents lots of people.

I want to know more about things right…HERE!
Spatial Query

If I want to grab a set of features and show aggregate and individual info, I drag out an area of interest and, BANG, lasso them in.  I can draw as few or as many areas of interest I need.  I can also bump the perimeter nodes around to reshape the areas of interest.  And stuff.

Hold on, I’ll connect you…

WAVE Integration

So you navigate to an area of security interest and identified the building with which you’d like to communicate.  Then what?
TwistedPair‘s WAVE software enables unified VoIP communication between different device types.  Using the WAVE SDK, IDV Solutions created a user experience native to the Microsoft Surface where a user can communicate others or go into full on switchboard operator mode.
For example, if I were one of the security coordination dudes who now own this ap, I could call a security office in Redmond, link the both of us to mobile police units’ two way radios, then patch us all in to an alert being broadcast on an FM band, and call my Mom on an unpatched line and plead with her to get out of town.  -All of that while zooming down to check on live street cam feeds and plotting courses on the highway!  WHEW!


Travis Conti and Daniel Briggs, lead surface developers, begin the sad process of packing it up.
Goodby, Huge Buddy

And then, as quickly as it came into my life…it was gone.  Back into it’s enormous static-preventing ziplock bag, back into it’s cartoonish Wile E. Coyote shipping crate, my last contact a fleeting…knowing…touch of it’s dormant acrylic surface -back to its true owners.


John Nelson / IDV Solutions / john.nelson@idvsolutions.com


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