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Multi-Touch Coffee Table Wooing Corporations

By Jason Mueller - Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Multi-touch surfaced displays have been used by museums for years. They could offer informational links accessible to visitors each seeking to learn something different about a display. They could add customer interaction through games to play and more. While museums have had this technology available as well as the government for quite a while, on a consumer level, they have only recently been released for ownership.

Corporations and folks that want to entertain guests with their fully functional coffee table that works just like a touch screen computer can do so now. The tables will have interactive screen savers such as a simulated water surface that makes a ripple effect where ever it gets touched.

The table is made out of high density acrylic and is scratch-resistant. While it isn’t scratch-proof, the table is hefty and won’t break easily. All of the processing power is embedded deeply enough that if this table takes a traditional ‘ding’ against the side of a wall when moving it, she’ll come out alright. The beauty of the design is solid processing in a very solid encasement.

Speaking of solid power, the display alone has a 3.4 GHz quad-core Phenon processor with an allocated 4GB RAM and 180 Gigs of storage. This means that there will be no delay with many people putting several touch points up on the screen at once. This device is made to be hands on and it can boast the claim that more hands are merry hands – free of lag even in light of heavier processing requirements. The multi-touch table will connect via WiFi, USB, Bluetooth, Ethernet or 3G so networking within the office or home is a breeze. It also features a high viewing angle LCD for all folks around the table to see whether they’re sitting down, standing up or even a bit of a distance. Connectivity and dedicated computer juice to guarantee the smooth and lucid multi-touch experience aren’t the only great features of this new toy, though.

Behind the screen, the hardware that picks up the multi-touch input and processes it without delay is a microprocessor-controlled system called Frustrated Total Internal Reflection. This technological hardware is a constantly running application and with the multi-touch table’s self-monitoring system, the fancy furniture piece and diagnose whether the screen is refreshing or not. Equipped with an ambient light sensor the screen will also automatically adjust its own brightness in the case of very bright or dark environments.

All of these features would make it sound as though this new concept will be just as fragile as a laptop or computer – maybe more. That simply isn’t the case here.

The multi-touch table will feature a screen that has a scratch and spill resistant coating which will allow coffee, tea, dropped donuts, and virtually anything else that gets on it to be wiped up with NO damage to the screen or internal circuitry. Given the high likelihood of being featured in prominent company lobbies as a form of entertainment for guests while they wait, the protected electronics and screen are a major win. Functionality without fragility ought to be the motto of this brand new addition to consumer grade electronics.

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