As uncharacteristically cool as Microsoft's Surface tech is, it's been hard to see exactly how it could go beyond making pretty patterns on bar tables to becoming genuinely useful.
A new Sony patent, though, has shown a potential future role for it though – in printers. Okay, it's hardly gadget glamour and the patent suggests Sony would use its own proprietary tech rather than Surface, but the idea is promising.
You'd simply put the camera on the touch-sensitive pane, let the images wirelessly download to the printer and then use the multi-touch wizadry to crop, edit and decide which pics to print.
The patented gizmo's perhaps optimistic dimensions suggest it could be portable and there's also a hinge, hinting at the inclusion of a scanner.
Naturally, there are no concrete plans to make the printer yet, but it has to be better than the initial concept below which one parody memorably labelled a 'big ass table'.
Do you have any bright ideas for Microsoft Surface? Let us know in the comments section below.
via Reg Hardware