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Sony patents Surface-like photo printer

Touchscreen? Check. Wireless downloads? Check. Is Sony beating MS at its own game?

At CES last year I was lucky enough to get a chance to spend a good half hour with a prototype of the Microsoft Surface device. Since then, I've been to the campus in Redmond a few times and have seen a few more things it can do. It's promising technology, but Microsoft's going to have to hustle to get it to market if it wants to stay impressive, as other groups, like Sony, look to be rushing their own versions into the world.

Take this patent Sony recently filed for a digital printer. Using a touchscreen UI, the printer wirelessly downloads photos from your (Sony-only, probably) digital camera. Then you can preview them on the screen and decide which ones to print.

It's likely you'll have options like red-eye fixes, cropping, and other basic image adjustments built in. The thing is, the camera download thing is one of the many things the Surface can do. If Sony can beat Microsoft in bringing that technology home, then it's one less exciting thing about the Surface.

That being said, this is still in the patent stage and nobody (that we know of) has seen a prototype yet. Maybe CES next year?