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If the slew of tablets, smartphones and multitouch capable desktops announced this year at CES is anything to go by, 2010 is going to be the year of tge touch interface. Touch is neat technology, but especially in the desktop arena, it has some problems: it sullies an otherwise pristine display with greasy finger print and other destritus. Not aesthetically or sanitarily ideal, to be sure.
Hewlett-Packard's been really active in the touch arena lately, especially with its line of TouchSmart laptops and desktop. Now they are unveiling a new iteration of their patented TouchSmart tech which solve the fingerprint problem once and for all: its touch without touching.
The new design is called the "wall of touch" and is currently an interactive touch screen wall comprise of up to nine 43 to 46 inch panels, each running at a resolution of 1080p. The set-up is driven by am HP Z800 workstation, and causes the wall to act like a large HP TouchSmart computer.
The way the tech works is by employing a multitouch mechanism that employs optical cameras and a magnetic strip to detect when users are nearing the wall, as opposed to the usual capacitive overlays.
The wall of Touch isn't cheap or consumer-oriented: when it unveiled in 2010, it will likely cost up to $100,000 for larger installs. But it'll be interesting to see if HP can manage to shrink the tech for home consumer use: if so, desktop multitouch will become a lot more sanitary overnight.
By: John Browlee, www.geek.com