Microsoft Surface Hub – When Microsoft first announced its digital whiteboard product in 2012, some people reacted flatly – including me. In my defense at the time, it was nothing revolutionary. Years later, it’s become a billion dollar business, and I’ve found myself singing a different tune. Read on to find out what makes me change my opinion about the Surface Hub.
The history and overview of Microsoft Surface Hub
Jefferson Han of Perspective Pixel, Inc demonstrated his ground-breaking multi-touchscreen workstation in 2006. He successfully gained widespread recognition and was awarded the National Design Award from the Smithsonian in 2009.
Roughly three years later, the CEO of Microsoft announced that the company would acquire Han’s Perspective Pixel and made it a division in focusing on the research, development as well as production of multi-touch display technology.
It was not until 2015 did the Microsoft announce its massive interactive digital whiteboard referred to as The Surface Hub. After its unveiling in January 2015, Microsoft opened pre-orders seven months later and predicted they would be able to ship the products in September 2015.
However, the demands exceeded the company’s prediction which forced them to reschedule the shipment until January 2016 – which was not met either. The announcement on further delays was accompanied with another announcement on a $2,000 hike from the initial price for any orders coming after the pre-orders in July 2015.
How Microsoft Surface Hub transforms business meetings
When Microsoft brought Surface Hub to the spotlight, its sole intention was to transform how business meetings should be conducted. Those who had pre-ordered finally had their hands on the Surface Hub in March 2016 and have been singing praises for the 8,999-dollar 55” device and 21,999-dollar 84” ever since. Me, included. So what specifically made me change my mind, and, does its massive price tag affect productivity?
When Microsoft first announced the Surface Hub and showed off what it was capable of, I was not excited merely because it was not revolutionary.
Multi-touch display is nothing new, the whiteboard concept is far from it either – and it’s not until after I had my hands on it did I realize that, while it the concept is not revolutionary, the Surface Hub is the only digital whiteboard product which gets everything right. At those prices, it’s obvious that the Hub isn’t just a display. It’s something more and can do the unthinkable.
Let me elaborate, in terms of hardware; the Surface Hub is running on Windows 10 Pro and powered by Core i5 and Core i7 with two wide-angled High-Definition cameras which own the ability to follow the presenter should they move a teleconference.
The screen supports 100-point of touch input and is equipped with Nvidia Quadro graphics and noise-canceling microphones, all of which make Skype video conferencing an incredible experience.
Not only that, but the Surface Hub also comes with a myriad of features such as the highly-intuitive Whiteboard application which is automatically activated the moment you take the Stylus pen. It also has the ability to access documents from OneDrive, SharePoint, screen sharing, USB devices, and multitask during a video conference.