There it is, right on cue Microsoft's Surface has gone spherical over at Microsoft Research. Rumored since March, the prototype relies upon an infrared system to detect hands, fingers, and objects as well as an internal (not external like Surface) projection system developed by Global Imagination (and customized by Microsoft) to deliver its multi-touch UI. At the moment, Microsoft is demonstrating photo manipulation, a spinning globe, 360-degree video, and a simple Pong-like game, the latter giving us a taste of future gaming possibilities. Sphere is expected to make its first public appearance Tuesday at Microsoft's Faculty Summit in Redmond. Ultimately, it will appear in public spaces like lobbies as part of a larger ecosystem of Surface gear. The prototype UI looks a bit jumpy compared to its tabletop cousin -- hit the read link to see for yourself.