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Microsoft PixelSense

Samsung SUR40 with Microsoft PixelSense technology


Microsoft PixelSenseThe PixelSense is pre-loaded with a universe simulation program called "NUIverse." A Research Commons student employee developed the following list of tips and tricks for getting the most out of this program.

  • Turn on PixelSense by pressing the central button on the screen
  • Swipe in from the sides for Main Menu
  • Swipe in from the side and drag lengthwise ↔ along the sides for additional menus:
    1. Reticle: drag over an object (star, planet, etc.) for more information on the object
    2. Planets: select a different planet to see the universe from another perspective
    3. Compass: a compass of the solar system




    • Solar System: includes objects within the system; toggle on/off labels, orbits, etc.
      • TIP: for best view, toggle on “Orbits,” “Labels,” and “Bodies” >> “Show”
    • Extra Solar: includes objects outside of the system; toggle on/off constellations, deep sky objects, etc.
      • TIP: for best view, toggle on “Constellations” >> “Show” and “Constellations” >> “Labels” >> “Show”



    • Orbit: centers around the planet
    • Free: allows any movement with a fixed perspective
    • Tracked: rotates around one axis
    • Geo Sync: freezes rotation of the planet
      • TIP: put time in motion and enable “Geo Sync” or “Tracked” to see the universe spinning around
    • Zoom: zooms towards and away from the planet
      • TIP: turn “Zoom” to a higher number to view the solar system from afar
    • Field of View: narrows/widens perspective
      • TIP: for best view, turn “Field of View” to 100
        • WARNING: may cause dizziness!


    • TIP: toggle off “Pause” before experimenting with other settings
    • Multiplier: speeds up/slows down passage of time
      • TIP: for best view, turn to between 1E+02 and 1E+05 depending on what planet you are currently focused on
    • Forward/Backward: controls flow/direction of time
    • Pause: stops time; turn off to activate “Multiplier” functions
    • Real Time: sets “Multiplier” to one and displays current time and events
    • Clock: displays time and date of current view



    • Moons are often difficult to see; zoom out further away from the planet until you see the green orbits of the moon(s).
    • If the time multiplier is set larger than one and you switch the Camera mode from “Orbit” to “Free,” the planet will leave.
    • We have yet to crack the code on the “Art” tab in “Constellations.” If you make any discoveries about this function (or any other hidden abilities), please let us know!
    • Green clusters in the distance are most likely the orbits of a different planet’s moons.
    • NUIverse was created in 2012 so no, Pluto is not on the Planets menu.


    Want to use this device for your research? Contact us.

    If you are a UW student interested in using the PixelSense device for research display or application development purposes, we would love to hear from you!