Microsoft Encourages Creativity With "The Art Of Touch" Site

Art? Microsoft? Together? Yep. The company is encouraging artistic creativity through the launch of an international art project called “The Art of Touch,” inspired by the Microsoft family of Touch mice consisting of the Microsoft Touch Mouse, Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse and Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse. We've seen companies do similar things from time to time in order to drum up interest in a particular aspect of their portfolio, and it's good to see a giant like Microsoft take the time to do likewise.

Visitors to the site can easily create original works of art with a palette of brushes and effects built into the application. Art created with the palette may be submitted, easily shared with their social networks and voted on, allowing the artist with the most votes to be awarded the grand prize of “featured artist” status on the Art of Touch website.

With the Art of Touch palette, people have access to an exclusive set of digital brushes and effects to create art in a modern Web browser using their mouse. Three brushes produce a ribbon, smoke or streak and, initially, five different effects can be added to each stroke with the click, swipe or flick of a mouse. Some of the effects include starbursts, trees, ribbons and splats. New effects will debut throughout the campaign, along with special effects created by featured generative artists, Erik Natzke, Dr. Woohoo! and Marius Watz. The canvas feature of HTML5 is combined with JavaScript libraries to draw the strokes and computer-generated animations in real time in the Web browser.

Each eligible person who creates a work of art using The Art of Touch palette can save and tag it with their name and location, and then share it online and through their social networks, where they can earn votes to win prizes in The Art of Touch Sweepstakes. Each vote for an art submission will count as one raffle ticket, encouraging people to vote often for favorite collages while increasing their chances to win a variety of prizes from Microsoft. From Nov. 10, 2011, to Feb. 4, 2012, Microsoft will give away prizes in a weekly drawing. Participants will have the chance to win Microsoft Touch mice, Windows 7-based PCs and other prizes that will feature their artwork. Complete sweepstakes rules are available at