Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

3M Launches 20-Finger Multi-Touch Display

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 39 comments

Use your hands, AND your feet!

Back in January we saw 3M's multi-touch panel--the 22-inch M2256PW--on display at CES 2010. At the time, it only allowed for ten simultaneous inputs using the company's Projected Capacitive Technology. However that's all changed, and now the LCD is hitting the market with 20+ finger support. What this means is that the display will accept multiple users collaborating on a single panel at the same time.

Outside the 20+ finger support, the M2256PW has a 6 millisecond response time for 20 touches, and palm accommodation which allows for "interface manipulation with one or more hands resting on the screen." The display also has 3358 touch points for precision drawing and edge accuracy, and a smooth and natural draw response thanks to the display's "anti-stiction" touch surface.

Although the actual screen size wasn't specified in the press release, the product page indicates that the size hasn't changed since its debut back in January, measuring 22-inches. Other bells and whistles include a 1680 x 1050 resolution, DVI and VGA video inputs, a USB and serial-based RS232 dual-mode communications protocol, and an anti-glare surface. The device is also Windows Touch AQ tested for 20+ fingers, making it compatible with Windows 7 and requiring no additional drivers.

"With the release of the M2256PW multi-touch display, 3M is helping realize the full potential of the multi-touch ecosystem," said Chris Tsourides, business manager, 3M Touch Systems. "With 20-plus finger multi-touch capability, the M2256PW display offers software developers an important development tool that they’ve been missing until now."

3M's online store indicates that it will cost $1,549 USD, however it appears that the company is providing discounts for specific quantities.

Display 39 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    tayb , May 25, 2010 5:54 PM
    Think bigger than 22".
Other Comments
  • -5 Hide
    sliem , May 25, 2010 5:50 PM
    /palmface
    Why?
  • -6 Hide
    jednx01 , May 25, 2010 5:51 PM
    Ok.... Not to ask stupid questions, but why would you need to have a screen that can have inputs from that many fingers at once? lol
  • 6 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , May 25, 2010 5:51 PM
    we have reached the point where further development in technology is getting increasingly useless... This in only useful for large surfaces, not a desktop display!
  • 10 Hide
    tayb , May 25, 2010 5:54 PM
    Think bigger than 22".
  • 2 Hide
    jmchien , May 25, 2010 5:55 PM
    jednx01Ok.... Not to ask stupid questions, but why would you need to have a screen that can have inputs from that many fingers at once? lol

    playing a game with two people?
  • 1 Hide
    theuerkorn , May 25, 2010 5:59 PM
    Good technology for times to come, and for early adopters I guess. Nevertheless, once that's implemented in a bigger system it really sounds useful.
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , May 25, 2010 6:00 PM
    Now I can multi touch using my hands and feet, 5 fingers left hand + 5 fingers right hand + 5 fingers left foot + 5 fingers right foot = 20 fingers.
  • 0 Hide
    tburns1 , May 25, 2010 6:05 PM
    I guess this means I can finally accurately input what I want to while I am using my monitor as a skateboard. Hooray for R&D!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2010 6:15 PM
    RS232....... motherboards still have those ?
  • 1 Hide
    hellwig , May 25, 2010 6:16 PM
    Isn't mutli-touch detection kinda like counting. Once you figured out that 2 came after 1, and that 3 came after 2, is it really that impressive that 20 comes after 19? I mean really, all they've done is increased the processing power to track 20+ inputs instead of the 3 or 4 of previous devices, right?

    And touch points? You mean my fingers are simply activating various points on a detection grid (like buttons or switches)? I suppose the detection had to be reduced to a discrete number at some point, but only 3358 touch points? That's 73x46 points. That's what, 3 every 2 centimeters or something? That's not a very precise surface. Maybe I'm just confused.
  • 0 Hide
    jerreece , May 25, 2010 6:21 PM
    LOL Twenty fingers on a 22" display? Four full hands, trying to make different gestures? Are we talking about using this for a pre-school? LOL

    Now, put this on a 60" display, and hang it up in a board room with multiple windows open so folks can work on different things at once.... maybe I can see it. But even still, then you'd have at least two people standing in front of the display to manipulate it...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2010 6:24 PM
    It's forward thinking technology. Like for when conference rooms will have a touch screen for the table allowing multiple participants to interact. Pretty cool when you think of the applications.
  • 0 Hide
    sliem , May 25, 2010 6:25 PM
    jerreeceLOL Twenty fingers on a 22" display? Four full hands, trying to make different gestures? Are we talking about using this for a pre-school? LOLNow, put this on a 60" display, and hang it up in a board room with multiple windows open so folks can work on different things at once.... maybe I can see it. But even still, then you'd have at least two people standing in front of the display to manipulate it...


    ^ this.

    Not on 22" ... what the heck, what can you do with 2-20 hands on a 22" lcd? One is the driver, the other one looks and points, not work too. It'll be weird.
  • 0 Hide
    lurker123 , May 25, 2010 6:26 PM
    Made for people with Houdini-like toe control or for two-person teams sharing a touch-screen?
  • 2 Hide
    jellico , May 25, 2010 6:31 PM
    hellwigIsn't mutli-touch detection kinda like counting. Once you figured out that 2 came after 1, and that 3 came after 2, is it really that impressive that 20 comes after 19? I mean really, all they've done is increased the processing power to track 20+ inputs instead of the 3 or 4 of previous devices, right?And touch points? You mean my fingers are simply activating various points on a detection grid (like buttons or switches)? I suppose the detection had to be reduced to a discrete number at some point, but only 3358 touch points? That's 73x46 points. That's what, 3 every 2 centimeters or something? That's not a very precise surface. Maybe I'm just confused.

    I believe you're thinking of the 20+ touch in a linear fashion rather than simultaneous. A lot of touch-screen devices can only track one touch at a time. If you touch with two fingers, it tends to jump back and forth. Multi-touch devices have started to become more common, and these can track, well, more than one touch at a time. Of course, 20+ is beyond their capacity.

    So what are the potential applications of something like this? A touch-screen keyboard that could actually keep up with a proficient 10-finger typist. A collabortive screen where multiple people could input information or maninpulate objects all at the same time.

    A lot of times, stuff like this will come out and people will treat it like a solution in search of a problem. That's not entirely untrue. Often times, the next great gadget is only possible once certain technological breakthroughs have been achieved. In fact, there was an article that came out when the iPad debutted pointing out that an iPad prototype was actually invented a decade or so earlier. However, it would not have been possible to create THE iPad because the technology did not exist yet.
  • 0 Hide
    jerreece , May 25, 2010 6:32 PM
    computerlameIt's forward thinking technology. Like for when conference rooms will have a touch screen for the table allowing multiple participants to interact. Pretty cool when you think of the applications.


    I agree with this. An application on a conference table could be useful. Introducing a 20 touch display on a 22" is kind of silly. I guess you have to start somewhere...
  • 5 Hide
    maestintaolius , May 25, 2010 6:35 PM
    Finally, a touch screen designed for the neglected tentacle monster market.
  • 0 Hide
    Trueno07 , May 25, 2010 7:34 PM
    I'm sure monkeys will enjoy this display, considering they can make good use of their toes.
  • 1 Hide
    pharge , May 25, 2010 7:38 PM
    This tech should be good for MS surface concept. I still remember seeing the concept of playing D&D on "surface" system. Yes... 20+ multitouch seems a little bite useless on up-right monitors... but... it can be very useful when the monitor is bigger and lying down as a table surface..
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 25, 2010 7:42 PM
    God, 20+ fingers! I need to roll around in radiation a bit more so I can grow another pair of arms!
Display more comments