Microsoft worked with The Smithsonian to put together seven applications for the Surface with which visitors can interact. Each app is related to the exhibit's "The Wonder of Light: Touch and Learn!" theme, letting users do things such as zoom in and out of photos, rub sticks on the surface to create virtual fires, and shine a real flashlight onto the Surface's screen to light up an underwater scene.
The Surface hardware was donated to the museum by Microsoft, and as CNET was told, it did not require any modifications to handle heavy use by the crowds, who can poke and prod at it with some of the included tools.
The Smithsonian's implementation of Surface joins other educational institutions, such as The British Library and the Ellis Island Museum, which featured the table-size computing device in exhibits introduced earlier this year.
Below is a video of The Smithsonian's implementation.