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Giant touch-screen shows size matters

Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 01:45

Apr 1 - The team behind the world's largest touch-screen say the huge device changes the way we work and interact with data. The screen, at Groningen University in the Netherlands, is based on a 3D cinema screen 8.5m wide by 2.7m high (28x9 feet). Stuart McDill reports.

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Many hands make light work - and on a touch screen this size those hands will be able to work far more efficiently than ever before. That is the claim for the world's biggest touch screen - here at Groningen University in the Netherlands. The huge converted 3D screen allows a new kind kind of collaboration, according to one of its developers, Frans van Hoesel. (SOUNDBITE)(English) FRANS VAN HOESEL, GRONINGEN UNIVERSITY SAYING: "You can work on that part of the screen, somebody else can work on the other part of the screen and we can communicate with each other. This is just for fun of course, but you can envision more serious applications." Behind the screen are six full-HD rear projectors, six Optitrack cameras, 16 infrared sensors and nearly 1000 LED's. At least 100 points of contact can be detected simultaneously, giving a much greater feeling of control of the data than that provided by a mouse, says Computer Sciences Professor, Tobias Isenberg. (SOUNDBITE)(English), TOBIAS ISENBERG, GRONINGEN UNIVERSITY SAYING: "The mouse is a very small, precise instrument, whereas your finger covers typically a bunch of pixels so you have to deal with this issue of precision, then you can not just use menu-driven systems, as you know them traditionally from computer interfaces, because they would in large setting like this end up somewhere on the top of the screen, whereas you want to interact locally, so the whole difference of interaction interfaces has to be taken into account." The team are exploring applications for the technology that benefit from scale like astronomy - where larger images will help researchers. They say that overcoming the issue of manipulating 3D data on a 2D surface can wait - for now, its just size that matters. Stuart McDill, Reuters

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Giant touch-screen shows size matters

Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 01:45