HP launches touchscreen display 11 feet by 7 feet by 32 fingers

Touchscreen takes orders from 32 fingers at a time, runs on two PCs and one GPU

Proud of that 24-inch monitor you got yourself over theholidays? Swelled with pride over your shiny new 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt 2560-by-1440-resolution window on your own awesomeness?

Drooling over an HP Omni 27, an all-in-one with a 27-inch diagonal-panel HD monitor?

Of course, if big displays are what you're into, most LCD TVs can work as computer monitors in addition to their usual task – boob-tube emulation.

So you could always hook up your new iPhone 4S or Intel Core I7 laptop to this 70-inch Sharp LCD to properly display your iPhone action shots from CES, which seem to get blurrier and less artfully composed as the time sig on the files gets later. (An obvious bug in the camera firmware; if it hasn't shown up since you left the show, it just shows how many things that happen in Vegas stay there. )

There's just no way to compete with massive multiscreen video walls.

They may not be practical for home gaming setup, but it's fun to think about. What would CODMW3 or Portal2 look like on the 100-monitor video wall you may have walked past at McCarran Airport on the way out of Las Vegas? How would you like to drive a display like that using just your iPad2?

Actually it's only the C-n-C that's on the Ipad; the graphics are driven by hardware from Cinemassive, which will build you one with anything from two displays to 100.

It's not the largest video wall in the world, of course. AT&T claims the biggest is the 12-foot-high, 250-foot-wide video wall it uses to manage 928,000 miles of fiber, 129,000 WiFi hotspots, 87 million wireless customers and hundreds of millions of dropped iPhone calls from its ultra-cool-looking Global Network Operations Center.

The endless AT&T video wall may be the biggest, but it doesn't have the right touch for HP, which just introduced a multi-touchscreen display system that is 11 feet wide, 7 feet high and can take input from 32 different fingers touching it simultaneously.

The $125,000 HP VantagePoint systems use 47-inch monitors, resolution of 4098x1536, augmented reality software from AR developer Total Immersion, driven by two PCs and only one graphics card.

The displays are protected in front with Gorilla Glass designed to resist the impact of a projectile travelling as fast as 56 miles per hour.

The setup is designed as an interactive display, not just fancy signage.

The use case isn't that well defined by either HP or anyone else trying to sell the things, but predictions that high-end retailers will be able to attract more shoppers or keep them in the store longer using apps to let them virtually try on clothes, design their living rooms around a new piece of furniture, customize a car or kitchen or window treatment aren't complete fever dreams.

Somehow, no matter how big the display, how big the technical challenge or how big the cost, there's always someone willing to pay one cost or all three, if only to make the rest of us envy the magnitude of their display.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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