"Combined Surface User Interface" is a cool little patent application filed by Microsoft back in 2010, detailing the creation of a shared workspace stitched together by pico projectors attached to mobile devices. Users can interface with the projected area through motion captured on a camera. If the whole thing sounds a bit familiar, don't worry, you're not crazy. Earlier in the month, a patent application from Apple surfaced carrying the "Projected Display Shared Workspaces" title, detailed a fairly similar scenario. Interestingly, the two applications were filed a week apart, Microsoft's on February 3rd, 2010, and Apple's on February 11th of that year. It's important to note, before jumping to any conclusions, of course, that the granting of patents in a case like this doesn't hinge on the filing date.

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Microsoft patent application details pico projected shared workspace, sounds vaguely familiar