bigger multitouch screens out there -- and ones that can support more simultaneous touch points -- 3M's brand new C3266PW is the company's largest, said to be suited for industrial-strength installations with multiple simultaneous users (the company is quick to note that the ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle along both axes is great for that, since folks can crowd around and start touching). They demoed the new unit here at CeBIT in two ways: three of them in a row on a "cascade table" with one high, one slanted, and one low, and another separate unit mounted on a solo kiosk at roughly eye level. The table's set up as a multi-display Windows box running a tech demo with maps, images, and videos that can be flicked between screens, pinched, and zoomed; the kiosk, meanwhile, is running a rudimentary flight simulator designed to demonstrate all ten points of multitouch capability at once with a finger-based aircraft control scheme (not the way you'd really design a game, but a good demo nonetheless).
3M points out that touch response -- the amount of time that it takes the screen to actually recognize that it's been touched -- is an issue in the industry, and it's not something that we really think about as users; if a gesture is laggy, we just assume the processor isn't up to the task or the software sucks. The C3266PW is rated at a relatively brisk 12ms recognition time, and while the company has other products with even quicker ratings, we definitely noticed the lack of lag as we played around (of course, the computers powering the displays have plenty to do with that). We've come to associate good capacitive displays with glossy glass and resistive with matte, but that's really not a fair assessment -- this one has a non-glare "anti-stiction coating" that, as its name implies, makes your fingers glide like butter. It might not be great for a phone, but it works well for a display of this size that's probably going to be used in public installations and potentially handled by hundreds of people a day. Follow the break for 3M's press release and video of both setups!
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