Wednesday, January 20, 2010

HP Shows Off Touchless “Wall of Touch”

Hewlett Packard is showing off the wall of the future, well I'd like to call it that.

The “wall of touch”, is an interactive touch screen wall comprised of up to nine 43 inch to 46 inch, 1.5 inch thick panels with a resolution of 1080p. Driven by an H-P Z800 workstation, the wall acts as a large immersive H-P TouchSmart computer both in terms of content and resolution. Users can access cable feeds, satellite feeds, downloaded and streaming content from the web such as YouTube,, and social networking sites, as well view DVR and DVD content.

The wall utilizes a touchless system employing a mechanism that uses optical cameras and a magnetic strip to detect when users are approaching the wall. Simply move your hand around in the area of one of the screens and the pointer tracks along. For us shorter users that wouldn't be able to reach all four corners of the screens, the wall of touch will also work with a standard keyboard and mouse.

HP first began working on the “wall of touch” prototype about a year ago. The prototype gained the interest of several companies including the NBA and Continental Airline. Both of which are currently showing off the device.

He said “wall of touch” will not be widely available to consumers until 2011, and would likely come with a hefty price tag: anywhere from a couple thousand dollars up to $100,000 for more advanced systems with technologies like HD video conferencing.

This new touchless wall reminds me of the surround gaming wall from the Gerard Butler movie Gamer. Imagine the immersive gaming possibilities of a surround style setup capable of interpreting all of a users gestures.

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