Large Format Display Applications at TGM 2014

By Helen Vince
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Large Display, User Interface – Touch Gesture Motion 2014 in Austin, Texas, October 28-30, 2014, offered several presentations involving large format display applications.

 A key observation by several presenters and attendees at TGM 2014 was that the emerging availability of mass market 4K displays is driving increased interest in applications of touch interfaces to large format 4K displays. This interest is driven by the observation that touch interfaces require the user to be directly in front of the display, and the advent of 4K displays permits very close viewing owing to the fine pixel pitch. The resulting immersive experience encourages hands-on interaction with the displayed information and provides an “analog” viewing experience. This was certainly my observation when first viewing large 4K displays at CES in 2013.

Gerald Morrison, Director of Research at SMART Technologies was one of those pointing out the immersive analog experience of viewing large format 4K displays at close range. Dr. Morrison also presented a keynote address at TGM 2014 on Old Expectations in a New Medium: Non-Display Direct Touch in a Cloud-Based World. The bulk of Dr. Morrison’s keynote revolved around the central connections between human interaction and the human sense of touch. He then went on to describe “analog experiences in a digital world (and the) dry erase whiteboard evolution” since smart whiteboards are what SMART Technologies develops and sells. Dr. Morrison concluded his keynote with a description of the firm’s latest product offering SMART kapp (photo below) which was unveiled at Infocomm 2014 and received the Best Overall New Product award.

Smart kapp

Source: SMART Technologies

While the large format SMART kapp does not incorporate a high resolution display, it does offer a large format touch user input capability. At TGM 2014, presenters from Displax and PQ Labs also addressed opportunities for large format touch screen displays. In its TGM presentation, PQ Labs emphasized the applicability of its G5 series products to large format 4K displays. PQ Labs is focused on providing multi-touch and active stylus input for large format displays offering up to 12 touch points and sizes from 21.5 to 84″, as well as the G5P Touch Wall multi-touch overlay intended for video walls and projection displays from 70 to 500″. PQ Labs sees its products being applied in several markets including information access, interactive whiteboards and digital signage. The firm envisions providing interactive display solutions for hospitality, control centers, education, point of sales, and information kiosks (photo below).

PQ Labs1

Source: PQ Labs

Miguel Fonseca, CEO of Displax presented at TGM 2014 on his firm’s large format projected capacitance touch sensor, touch controller, algorithms and software. Displax sees its large format touch sensing systems being applied in interactive digital signage, retail, museum, transport, and outdoor applications. The company’s Skin Ultra touch sensor and controller product (photo below) provides for 100 simultaneous touches, a response time of 4.6 ms, touch accuracy of +1mm and a narrow bezel (e.g. 20 mm for a 55″ display application).

Displax1

Source: Displax

The Displax touch sensor can also do pressure sensing and incorporates pen input and adjustable palm rejection. As these product offerings from SMART Technologies, PQ Labs and Displax illustrate, touch sensor input is now available for essentially any type and size of large format display. – Phil Wright