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HP's "Wall of Touch" That You Don't Need to Touch

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 32 comments

HP is demoing a "Wall of Touch" that you don't even need to touch in order to operate it. Confused? So were we.

HP this week demonstrated a huge video wall that utilizes cameras and a magnetic strip to sense when you're approaching. The display senses what you're going to select before your finger hits the screen, thereby eliminating some of the sticky fingerprints so seem to go hand in hand with touchscreen technology.

Philip McKinney, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of HP’s Personal Systems Group spoke to the Wall Street Journal about the device and explained that it's actually comprised of nine 43-inch, 1.5-inch thick, zero-bezel displays, each with a resolution of 1080p. The whole thing is operated by a Z800 workstation.

Prototypes are already on show at the NBA headquarters and at the Continental Airlines counter in Houston Airport.

“We’re in the process of building out the next handful of walls as part of supporting our customer base, with the intent that, if there’s enough interest, HP will turn it into a mainstream product,” says. McKinney.

McKinney went on to say that the "Wall of Touch" will be "widely available" to consumers in 2011, but that it would likely come with a hefty price tag: anywhere up to $100,000 for more advanced systems with technologies like HD video conferencing.

Check out the demo video on the Wall Street Journal (no subscription necessary).

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    El_Capitan , January 20, 2010 2:11 PM
    People will still feel the need to touch the screens.
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    El_Capitan , January 20, 2010 2:11 PM
    People will still feel the need to touch the screens.
  • 2 Hide
    moomooman , January 20, 2010 2:17 PM
    The same effect is available on point of sale terminals at the moment, albeit on much smaller 17" screens!

    They use an IR field above the touchscreen glass to detect the positions of the users fingers to eliminate the sticky fingers problem.
  • Display all 32 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    icepick314 , January 20, 2010 2:19 PM
    still won't matter since most people will still will touch the screen in order to control it.....
  • -2 Hide
    Miharu , January 20, 2010 2:20 PM
    Quote:
    People will still feel the need to touch the screens.


    Yeah, but I supose they can put glass or fiber glass to protect screen.
    Just to clean the glass everyday and change it when it's needed.
  • 4 Hide
    crazymech , January 20, 2010 2:33 PM
    Personally, the interesting part here for me are the "0 bezel screens".. Cut off 13 inches and start selling them in 3's and 6's to the AMD eyefinity crowds!
  • 2 Hide
    zak_mckraken , January 20, 2010 2:46 PM
    $100,000???

    9x 43IN 1080p borderless displays : ~ $10,000
    1x HP Z800 Workstation (pimped out) : ~$5,000
    1x HD Video conferencing hardware and software (Tandberg) : ~$20,000
    HP Proprietary software : Overpriced.
  • 2 Hide
    LaughALot , January 20, 2010 3:49 PM
    How about hurray, I don't have to touch it, reducing the chance I'll catch someones stupid bug :) 
  • 3 Hide
    buckinbottoms , January 20, 2010 3:49 PM
    Now that is an EYFINITY setup!
  • 4 Hide
    buckinbottoms , January 20, 2010 3:53 PM
    Quote:
    43-inch, 1.5-inch thick, zero-bezel displays, each with a resolution of 1080p

    So, why the hell didn't any of you nukin futs ask who makes those?
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 20, 2010 4:11 PM
    zak_mckraken$100,000???9x 43IN 1080p borderless displays : ~ $10,0001x HP Z800 Workstation (pimped out) : ~$5,0001x HD Video conferencing hardware and software (Tandberg) : ~$20,000HP Proprietary software : Overpriced.

    So 9 displays are $10,000?
    Does that mean I can get 6 for $6667?
    Resolution combined 5760 x 2160?
    Eyefinity, AHOY THERE!!!!
  • 1 Hide
    eyemaster , January 20, 2010 4:14 PM
    zak_mckraken$100,000???9x 43IN 1080p borderless displays : ~ $10,0001x HP Z800 Workstation (pimped out) : ~$5,0001x HD Video conferencing hardware and software (Tandberg) : ~$20,000HP Proprietary software : Overpriced.


    Oh yes... sell it like it's nothing, why not only 10k$ for everything? They obviously don't need to pay for the research and development and make a profit on top of that...
  • 1 Hide
    IncinX , January 20, 2010 4:22 PM
    I agree with buckinbottoms. I don't even know the rest of the article was about, all I saw was "zero-bezel displays, each with a resolution of 1080p".
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 20, 2010 4:22 PM
    eyemasterOh yes... sell it like it's nothing, why not only 10k$ for everything? They obviously don't need to pay for the research and development and make a profit on top of that...

    Sure, but from a $100,000 product, 65% is the software?
    Next time you buy a PC for a $1200, ask if the Windows 7 was $800.
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , January 20, 2010 4:30 PM
    back_by_demandSo 9 displays are $10,000?Does that mean I can get 6 for $6667?Resolution combined 5760 x 2160?Eyefinity, AHOY THERE!!!!

    Well, basically, yes! I bought this TV for $950.
    @eyemaster : We're not gonna argue on what's the best business model here, I'm just pulling numbers out of my ass. But let's say I'm right for an instant: would you rather sell one copy of your software for $65,000$ or 5 copies for $20,000?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 20, 2010 5:22 PM
    You are forgetting the cost of the touch sensing equipment.
  • -2 Hide
    joebob2000 , January 20, 2010 5:38 PM
    back_by_demandSure, but from a $100,000 product, 65% is the software?Next time you buy a PC for a $1200, ask if the Windows 7 was $800.


    Try legally loading a $1000 pc (say that was just the hardware) with whatever software you require to do your work... retail price will be close to $1000 once you have win 7, office pro, and a few other apps for regular use. Sure, you could pirate all that (or use Linux) but its pretty foolish to think you don't need to invest well in software if you are going to get your job done (this is not gaming, these are business machines).

    Looking at it the other way (as a solution provider), a markup on a completely custom system of 3x from the hardware cost is actually pretty competitive; most big name companies will start at 5x.
  • 1 Hide
    flyinfinni , January 20, 2010 5:51 PM
    That wall of screens was all I saw at first too... Now if only I had the money for a 5970 and a couple of those screens.....
  • 1 Hide
    mr_tuel , January 20, 2010 6:06 PM
    I almost have to ask what games it plays...
  • -3 Hide
    idisarmu , January 20, 2010 8:00 PM
    zak_mckraken$100,000???9x 43IN 1080p borderless displays : ~ $10,0001x HP Z800 Workstation (pimped out) : ~$5,0001x HD Video conferencing hardware and software (Tandberg) : ~$20,000HP Proprietary software : Overpriced.


    You, sir, are an idiot.

    A 43" screen is MORE than $1100 for a model like this. I think a 1.5" thick, zero-bezel display would come in at about 2-3 times that.

    Sure, they might make a profit if they sold this for 50-75k, but with the number of units they sell, they would never break even with the cost of R&D. A 25% reduction in price will not get them 25% more sales because most companies may not feel they need something like this- especially @ >$50,000.

    As for back_by_demand, a $1200 pc from dell or your local mall does not cost only $400 to build. The performance may be reached for $400 by selecting the cheapest components, psu, and case from newegg and pirating windows, but your computer wouldn't look good or sound good (loud probably.) A $1200 pc probably costs about $800 for everything, then they add $100/hour for labour to assemble the parts and $100/hour for installing windows and some software. The rest is profit and is split between the stores and the oems.
  • 0 Hide
    idisarmu , January 20, 2010 8:03 PM
    crazymechPersonally, the interesting part here for me are the "0 bezel screens".. Cut off 13 inches and start selling them in 3's and 6's to the AMD eyefinity crowds!


    30" at 1080p doesn't excite me. Why not just save a ton of money and look for some 23 or 24" screens if you're only going to run 1080p per screen?

    I assume that you want 2560x1600 since you want to have a 30" monitor.... so why would you take a 1080p monitor and cut it down? That just makes no sense.
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