HP’s 'Wall of Touch' doesn't even make you touch

HP's touch-sensitive multimedia wall doesn't require touch to operate

Don't you hate the smudges you get on your phone, or iPod whenever you touch the screen? Would you pay $US100,000 to make them go away? HP thinks you might, if you're a large company or organization. That's why they've created the Wall of Touch, a gigantic wall of advanced touch screens --9 of them, to be exact, each one 43 inches across, with 1080p resolution.

Put together, all these screens create essentially a large, touch-operated computer that will let you do everything from read news to watch videos and video chat, all in enormous fashion.

What's unique about HP's approach, though, is that you don't even have to touch the screen to make it work. Instead of the screen requiring a press to activate an action, the wall uses optical cameras and a magnetic strip to determine when there's a user nearby, and then responds to gestures made near the screen rather than simple presses, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For now, the product is mostly limited to big corporations, thanks to the $US100,000 price tag. The NBA, Edelman PR, and Continental Airlines are among the first customers for the Wall of Touch. HP's plan is to market devices like this of various sizes, from a smaller screen that is more suitable to consumers, to larger screens like the prototype for businesses. The wall will likely be available to consumers in 2011, said Philip McKinney, a VP at HP.

There are a number of cool possibilities for technology like this. Since users don't have to touch the screen to make it work, museums and companies could both use the wall to let people see their products and interact with them. The video conferencing potential is exciting on the wall as well, and the touch-screen technologies allow for quick browsing, reading, and consuming of everything from Hulu to Twitter.

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David Pierce

PC World (US online)
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