Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall Gives CNN Magic

CNN's Magic Wall brings the same kind of showmanship to television that the wired glove interface display brought to Steven Spielberg's movie Minority Report.

(CNN's magic wall display)

Jeff Han, the creator of the device, calls it a Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall. The device is sold by his company Perceptive Pixel.

Tap on the display and bring up more data. Pinch the boundaries of a map, and shrink it. Grab it with one hand and move it aside. Think "wall-size iPhone."

"It's a stupendous way to explain a lot of complicated data," says David Bohrman, chief producer of CNN's political coverage. "Fundamentally, our job is to explain things to people, and we need to do it visually. This lets us do it naturally, without a keyboard or mouse getting in the way."

Since I know you'd like one, you'll need to start saving your lunch money - a basic unit goes for about $100,000.

Fans of sf and director Steven Spielberg already recognized the basic idea. In the 2002 movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise's character uses wired gloves to get a similar effect.

(Tom Cruise looks for clues)

Microsoft is not about to let Apple and Han have all the multi-touch fun; take a look at a video demonstration of Microsoft Surface. And in related news, Microsoft announced this week that it was moving up plans to release a consumer version of Surface; early customers may see them as early as this spring.

See a multi-touch display demonstration video by Jeff Han; see a variety of multi-touch technologies.

And I almost forgot (thanks, BobD), it turns out that you can make your own DIY multitouch whiteboard with your handy Wii for about $99,000 less - see Wiimote-Based Multi-Touch Whiteboard from the king of Wiihacking, Johnny Chung Lee of Carnegie Mellon.

Story via CNN Hits The Wall for the Election.

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