About a year ago, HP began working on a ginormous touchscreen display for their PR firm’s Manhattan offices. The resulting product, called the Wall of Touch, was such a hit that it has found its way into the workplaces of other select clients, with more on the way. Ironically, despite its name, one of the things that makes the Wall unique is that users don’t have to actually touch it.
The Wall of Touch is made up of as many as nine 43 to 46-inch, 1080p panels. HP decided not to go with one big panel, as it would require rear projection and a translucent screen material that would compromise resolution. The Wall is driven by an HP Z800 workstation, essentially making it a huge HP TouchSmart computer. Built-in optical cameras and a magnetic strip detect when users are nearing it, thus the lack of needing to actually touch the screen. If users can’t reach the corners, it still works with a mouse or keyboard.
Versions of the Wall are currently in use at the headquarters of the National Basketball Association, as well as the Continental Airlines counter in the Houston airport.
So will a Touchless Touchscreen be arriving at a location near you soon? “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,” HP’s Personal Systems Group VP Philip McKinney told the Wall Street Journal.
It won’t come cheap, though. Prices are expected to range from $US2,000 up to $100,000 for systems with features such as HD video conferencing.