DaVinci (Microsoft® Surface™ Physics Illustrator) from Razorfish - Emerging Experiences on Vimeo.
The basic physics functionality is similar to the several physics illustrators already out there for PC, but this integrates the vision system of Surface for some pretty cool effects. There looks like some extras like the gravity control which makes it work well in the multi-orientation UX. It also uses some physical objects as dials, which allows great affordance. (Pretty similar to the ReacTable.)
I realize it's more of a concept demo than full application, so isn't expected to be fully featured. Given that, here are my thoughts regarding the user experience:
- Very good integration with vision system, shows off unique features of Surface
- Good use of the ink system. The finger, paintbrush, and toy car all create different size strokes
- Multi-orientation through controlling gravity and gravity vortexes (maybe they call it something different)
- The control panel is pretty "WIMP"-y. There has to be a better NUI way to integrate those controls, like the physical (gravity?) dial
- Dragging components around seems laggy, although this may have been on purpose due to the physics simulation. This is particularly obvious during the pong simulation, and just makes Surface itself look laggy. If it is meant to be springy, then a visualization of the temporary spring connecting the component and the fingers would help a lot.
- The three finger gesture to connect a component to the background is not discoverable and doesn't have any feedback! At least a color change would help. On the plus side, three finger gestures are not likely to done accidentally. Perhaps this one is filed under advanced gestures, but how will the advanced user learn it unless they are shown by else in the know? This needs progressive disclosure.
Don't get me wrong, this is a very cool application. The core functionality looks awesome, but I know there is more potential for refining the control mechanisms and fully implementing the Surface UX guidelines.