Friday, December 11, 2009
Touch Screen Digital Walls: Walls of the Future
WHAT IF you wake up one lazy Sunday in your futuristic Smarthome, a high technology-riddled abode with digital walls in your living room, your bedroom and even your kitchen?
So you check out what's for breakfast in your SmartKitchen, and you saunter through your kitchen, and stare at your wall -- er , digital wall. Happening next: you cook up innovative "miracles" for your morning meal, courtesy of SmartRef's suggestions , a highly nutritious feast for you and your little ones -- calories and vitamins and minerals all spelled out for you on the touchscreen monitor. And you won't worry about going overboard with calorie numbers.
That's your futuristic life in your Smarthome, 21st century living en grande , state-of-the-art technology right in your own abode. Your digital walls sing to you, cook for you, tell you the morning news, complete with interactive multi-touch interface walls with videos, photos, music, games and real time RSS feeds. A mouth-watering display of amazing touch technology showing multi-touch computer solutions , resizing like the Apple iPhone and peppered with exciting and cool applications
Clearly, this is what sales pitches would announce as an "all-in-one large-scale Multi-Touch Solution, with an ultra wide display and unique multi-touch technology , enabling multi-users to interact with each other on its large screen... Comparing with traditional touch technology, our Multi-Touch Wall is more interaged, supporting more touch points. Our digital wall products are designed and implemented with cutting-edge technology for computer innovations. We deliver exceptional results and innovations for clients all over the world ."
That leaves you in complete awe, and all you can say is Oooh. And you muse that keyboards are indeed so ... ah ... 20th centuryish .
Just last September, lots of oohs and aahs from everyone who have heard of that novel touchscreen wall at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas , coming up with their humongous digital touchscreen interface -- created by San Francisco-based media mavens Obscura Digital, and getting everybody's raves.
"The Hard Rock Wall of Fame lets you explore the entire HRC inventory of photos and videos ... a novel approach generating new consumer experiences. Adapting multiple media platforms at the same outlet and utilizing different vendors for each gives us a glimpse into the retail space of the future. Enhancing environments with digital media could be a win-win situation for everyone. Consumers get new things to look at and enjoy, retailers get increased business, and developers get to explore the concepts they enjoy."
Wooohooooh. And it gets even better.
Just this early December, the mother of all digital interactive touch screen walls has arrived. The Ring Wall is here , the world's largest touch interface , developed by Sensory Minds and installed in Nurburg, Germany: covering 90 square meters , accomodating more than 80 multi-touch users at once with its 45-meter long touch wall, standing 2 meters high, using 15 high definition projectors to display more than 34.5 million pixels while laser light plane illumination tracks users’ touches
Check out Singularity Hub's report:
" Considering its absurd scale and technological might it’s only fitting that the Ring Wall resides at a motor race track called the Nurburging. As for the purpose of the Ring Wall…intimidation of Sensory Mind’s competitors perhaps? I could see such displays serving well in large international museums, or as a means of sharing information in airports and train stations. Sensory Minds seems to have filled Ring Wall mainly with motor sports information, but it’s hard to tell. Eventually, technology like this, or the building-wide projectors we’ve discussed earlier, will transform all public spaces into enormous outlets for digital data. In twenty years when you’re browsing the internet by tapping on the sidewalk remember that it all started with the appearance of the Ring Wall."
For Chicago-based North Western University professor and The Design of Future Things author Don Norman, the developments in touch technology has entered an exciting and interesting phase.
"For almost two decades, we've been trapped by the tyranny of the screen, the mouse, and the keyboard . It's nice to think we're breaking away from that and going toward touch-screen manipulation in the real physical world."
Still, there's Technology Review's take on all the hubbub and excitement about new developments in haptics technology and the touch technology revolution.
Some researchers are even developing touchable displays that can touch back. The emerging technology that enables this is called haptics. (See "The Cutting Edge of Haptics.") One type of haptics technology involves a surface that senses when it's touched and then vibrates at various frequencies, depending on the placement of one's fingers. This sort of technology could be useful for the touch keyboard on Apple's iPhone, says Scott Klemmer, professor of computer science at Stanford University. "You wouldn't get the tactile feel of real buttons, but [because of the vibrations] you can tell you've touched a real button."