In his waning days as a full-time employee, Bill Gates is getting a little touchy-feely.
I'm not sure whether Gates is getting more emotional, but he is definitely big on the power of new user interfaces, especially touch-screen devices. On Wednesday, he is set to show off Microsoft's latest prototype, known as TouchWall.
The device to be shown Wednesday is something like a giant Surface unit turned on its side.
TouchWall is one of several multitouch prototypes Microsoft Research has created, in addition to the tabletop unit that Microsoft's Surface group has begun to sell commercially. Among the other devices the company is also reportedly working on is a sphere-shaped device.
Others also have multitouch walls. Multitouch pioneer Jeff Han has begun to sell one, while Hewlett-Packard showed one at last year's "D: All Things Digital" conference.
Gates' demo comes as part of the company's CEO summit, an annual gathering of business leaders that runs through Thursday at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
A Microsoft representative declined to offer any details about whether or when TouchWall might be available commercially. The device is not being developed by the Surface unit, but rather is a collaboration between Microsoft Research and the company's.