If you've ever played around with Google Earth you know how difficult it can be to explore just our planet — forget about the entire universe. Microsoft Surface 2.0 app NUIverse makes it all look incredibly easy however, with Natural User Interface (NUI, get it?) support for zooming, panning, and more with all your fingers. Microsoft Technology Center developer David Brown shows off the app running on the new Samsung SUR40 running Surface 2.0 in the video below, and while it is lengthy, it's also one of the most impressive tech demos we've seen.

According to Brown, the software can render up to 100,000 stars in real time, but that doesn't even begin to explain it. The whole experience (at least as it's shown off in the video) is super smooth, and it's hard to keep track of the number of different perspectives he's able to pull off with the software. The app uses dial-like adjustments (seen above) as well pinch-to-zoom and rotation gestures to navigate. There are even goodies like support for clear tags / chips that bring up new heads-up-display options when you drop one onto the screen (e.g. a compass and another that offers details on the nearest galatic bodies). Importantly, the app isn't just a map — it's a fully-fledged universe simulator, with time control and tons of other options. The app might not be enough to convince you to plunk down $9,049 on Samsung's SUR40 just yet, but this technology will eventually make it down to more consumer-friendly price points. The future looks promising, eh?