The SurfNet Network is a Canadian research alliance of academic researchers, industry partners, and government collaborators. The goal of SurfNet is to improve the development, performance, and usability of software applications for surface computing environments: nontraditional digital display surfaces including multi-touch screens, tabletops, and wall-sized displays. Surfaces naturally support group work and collaboration.
Digital surfaces provide space for working with large data sets. They suggest interconnections between multiple devices to form multi-surface environments (MSEs). In the next decade, digital surfaces will be the basis for new social computing applications, and will create new and innovative markets that go far beyond existing personal computing paradigms.
The power provided by digital surfaces, however, will only have a substantial impact on businesses and homes when software developers can easily and efficiently create innovative applications for these environments. Our network will provide these missing links by combining specific research projects with a continual focus on actually developing surface applications in collaboration with a large number of industry partners. It is this engineering focus that sets SurfNet apart from other groups working on surface computing.