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Displays Input Devices Technology

3M Says Its Multi-Touch System Means Almost No Lag 120

Posted by timothy
from the so-why-don'tcha-marry-it? dept.
jonniee writes "3M has rolled out a 22-inch digital display capable of 20-finger multi-touch input with less than 6 millisecond response time. The monitor incorporates 3M's Projected Capacitive Technology based on mutual capacitance operation theory. The result produces a silky smooth response that has almost no lag in execution."
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3M Says Its Multi-Touch System Means Almost No Lag

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:58AM (#32923434)

    ...20-finger multi-touch input

    Wow! Does that mean you can use your toes for input as well as your fingers?

    • Yep. Maybe.20-finger multi-touch input with less than 6 millisecond response time...Capacitive Technology based on mutual capacitance operation theory.

      Flux capacitors for aliens?

      w00t!
    • Mistake in article (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Capena (1713520)
      They say that "one of the limitations of devices like Android and iPhone is the sampling of only two active points" but the iPhone can sample 5 points.

      The iPad can actually do 11 touches. Feel free to speculate on what part is the 11th finger :)
      • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:23AM (#32923538) Homepage

        A few years ago, you would get yelled at for touching someone's screen. Imagine the furor in the office if someone did it with the "11th finger".

        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          by w0mprat (1317953)
          Finger? I find that an inadequate euphemism for my 11th digit.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          11th finger? Don't you mean "third leg", or does your girlfriend keep asking "is it in yet?"

          Oh, right; hand, finger... I get it. Never mind.

          • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

            For the record, yes she does ask me that. But technically, she is your girlfriend.

            • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Mutually Assured Pwnage

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              No, technically she's somebody else's wife until after the court date.

      • by w0mprat (1317953)

        The iPad can actually do 11 touches. Feel free to speculate on what part is the 11th finger :)

        Don't touch my iPad with your 11th finger! hey! ok you can keep it now.

      • They say that "one of the limitations of devices like Android and iPhone is the sampling of only two active points" but the iPhone can sample 5 points.

        Really... ? My Galaxy S android device samples at least 5 points [youtube.com]

      • by jo42 (227475)

        Feel free to speculate on what part is the 11th finger

        Your nose, dummkopf! Everyone has a nose. Only like half the population has a tallywacker.

        Of course, that half the population could potentially do 12 touches if they where flexible enough...

    • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:12AM (#32923492)

      ...20-finger multi-touch input

      Wow! Does that mean you can use your toes for input as well as your fingers?

      How about two people using a screen at the same time when talking about something on the screen. Both are turning objects that are being rendered, to view different angles and the like.

      Seems that 20 inputs for a 22 inch screen is the most fingers that would be able to realistically get to it... Any more than two people huddling around the same screen would mean it needs to be significantly bigger in size than 22 inches.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by TuringTest (533084)

        How about two people using a screen at the same time when talking about something on the screen.

        That would require having someone physically at the same place. Like inviting a friend to his basement, or something. Not going to happen soon.

        • One of the limitation not mentioned in the article is that it is CRT technology and is 7 feet deep. Integration into cell phones might prove to be a challenge..
          • I'd imagine with all that empty space in a CRT monitor, integrating a cell phone would be no challenge at all.

            Carrying that cell phone would be no fun at all.

      • by xtracto (837672)

        How about two people using a screen at the same time when talking about something on the screen. Both are turning objects that are being rendered, to view different angles and the like.

        All that while eating cheetos! Yum!

        I seem to remember someone developping a coating (spray) that prevented surfaces getting dirty... that will be a MUST for this touch-screen-happy era.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cybereal (621599)

        Forget two people, think bigger. Stitch 6 of these together, mount them into a conference room table, and use them for planning meetings. Why do you need 20 touch inputs per screen? Well you never know when everyone is going to go for the same screen portion at once. If this can be done with minimal or no bezel, it finally makes tabletop screens practical (for large companies).

      • by Dzonatas (984964)

        Future of Real-Time Strategy table top games... but I don't think Twister has been ranked as RTS, yet...

      • Yes, agree! Queen size or King size may be more suitable.
      • Classic requirements over-engineering.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Wow! Does that mean you can use your toes for input as well as your fingers?

      I can forsee a new type of two player (or ten player) single screen videogame. This could turn out to be interesting. It will especially be cool when they incorporate it into big displays.

    • I worked with a multitouch system that supports tracking 64 areas/points (the points had a radius AND a pressure).

      the extra points were mainly used for different kinds of palm reject. but even 16 would have been enough for any circumstance I could come up with.

  • Thank God. (Score:5, Funny)

    by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:59AM (#32923442)

    Now I can finally use both my fingers and toes to play games on my 22" monitor!

    Still not perfect, though. I really need 21 point for reasons I won't go into.

  • ... 20-finger multi-touch input with less than 6 millisecond response time. ... The result produces a silky smooth response that has almost no lag in execution."

    Sounds more like a porn or sex-lube ad.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by furgle (1825812)
      Agree, The images looks dirty with all those hands reaching out to touch part of the monitor. The monitor will have fingerprint stains that will never quite come off, signs of an experience it will never forget. For really dirty action get two of those monitors together for some: Hot screen on screen action. -- you know like the M.C. Escher drawing, but with 20 fingers from each monitor.
  • 3M sure does a lot! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pablo_max (626328) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:15AM (#32923502)

    I am really amazed that this company is able to do so many different thing. From post-it notes to medical equipment. Not bad for a company that started in 1902 selling minerals to the east.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by dammy (131759)

      I'm extremely impressed with 3M for supporting Linux with a driver. I always liked their products, even more now that I know they support my Linux addiction with deeds instead of words.

    • by Vintermann (400722) on Friday July 16, 2010 @04:11AM (#32923904) Homepage

      They also made some great boardgames back in the day.

      I suspect they were the real-world inspiration for ACME corporation in Looney Tunes.

      • They also made some great boardgames back in the day.

        Yes, and the money all had the same serial number: 3M4FUN4U2.
        (amazing what my brain is willing to waste space on :-( )

    • by tpholland (968736) on Friday July 16, 2010 @04:55AM (#32924050)

      A lot of it is down to the famous 15 percent rule--the idea that their researchers and engineers are free to spend 15% of their time pursuing their own ideas.

      Some of the younger developers at our place are in awe of Google having "invented" the whole one day a week innovating thing, and are shocked that some of the less cool corporations were doing this back in the sixties.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Just to be clear, are you somehow being paid for your contribution to this obvious slashvertisement? If it could be any more loving of 3M's new product then perhaps we could completely ignore that 3M has probably done as much damage to our environment as any other single company. Scotchgard, anyone?

  • by bradrum (1639141) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:21AM (#32923530)

    If I survive the impending nuclear apocalypse, my 20 fingered mutant zombie offspring will be the ultimate power users. I can't wait!

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:26AM (#32923546) Homepage

    Good luck being able to read text on that...

  • by Arimus (198136)

    Some needs to stop the genetic modifications of those scientists, while I agree 4 hands would be better than two most of the human race still (least last time I counted when sober) have only 10 fingers... 22" screen isn't really big enough to get two people poking at it comfortably so what's the use?

  • by frrrrrspl (1112559) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:30AM (#32923578)
    ...ought to be enough for anybody.
    • by Dekker3D (989692)

      You'd be surprised when the aliens land and scold us for our user-unfriendly touchscreens!

  • Latency (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:46AM (#32923636) Homepage Journal

    Well, on the plus side its only 6 times more lag than my mouse and keypad gives me, a lot better than consoles but still, not quite there yet :)

    That and there's only so many games that support touch, let alone multi finger touch, but of course world of goo, crayola physics and plants vs zombies will be just as playable on this as on my little hp tablet.

    Oh, and RTS of course, but keep a keyboard handy for shortcuts (sins of a solar empire comes to mind as the most "zomg this is the future" game you could show off with).

    • by tedgyz (515156) *

      Well, on the plus side its only 6 times more lag than my mouse and keypad gives me, a lot better than consoles but still, not quite there yet :)

      That and there's only so many games that support touch, let alone multi finger touch, but of course world of goo, crayola physics and plants vs zombies will be just as playable on this as on my little hp tablet.

      Oh, and RTS of course, but keep a keyboard handy for shortcuts (sins of a solar empire comes to mind as the most "zomg this is the future" game you could show off with).

      Did you raid my game collection? I'm still try to wean myself off PvsZ.

      • by Barny (103770)

        Nah, just those are the ones that work damn well on a touch screen.

        Steam has made me into a "browser" so far as games go, any time there is a new indy deal I snap them up as fast as I can :)

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      You guys aren't thinking far enough ahead. Think of a sixty five inch screen multiplayer game. There aren't (m)any touch games (except these Linux games [meritgames.com]), but there will be. I see they've ported a few to the iPhone.

      • Yeah, this thing is 22", which might work well as a cocktail-style video game surface. A larger screen would make a good tabletop and be nifty for some kinds of wargaming/RPGs (etc).

        I doubt it works underwater, else you could put it in a shallow basin and have a BSG Cylon-type interface...

  • It is bound to happen.

  • by ericvids (227598) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:28AM (#32923780)

    Assuming you can set the screen down flat, you can do a lot of multiplayer games with this. Like duet piano, or playing Magic the Gathering with two players (and "tapping" virtual cards couldn't be any more realistic too!)

    • by ceraphis (1611217)
      It may never happen, wizards is already showing its disdain for tapping in Duels of the Planeswalkers.
    • I love alot of alliteration!

      I come for the summaries. I stay for the sigs.
    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      Actually, you bring to mind another interesting point - what if those 20 fingers aren't fingers at all, but game pieces of some kind? More difficult on a capacitive screen than a resistive one I think, but it should still be fairly simple. The tough part would be if you needed to distinguish one piece from another. My imagination is rather limited at the moment, but at the very least you could combine a huge portion of all the classic board games into a single small device. Monopoly, Clue, any games of that

  • For Reference... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tobiah (308208) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:54AM (#32923866)
    about 150ms for instinctive (spinal/stem) response, 300ms for a conscious(cortical) response, 400ms to be aware of what you decided to do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by w0mprat (1317953)
      64000ms for comment response to think of something funny to say.
      • 64000ms for comment response to think of something funny to say.

        Slow down cowboy. Slashdot requires you to wait longer between hitting 'reply' and submitting a comment. It's been 5,820,076ms since you hit 'reply'.
    • by tool462 (677306)

      300ms for a conscious(cortical) response, 400ms to be aware of what you decided to do.

      Therefore it takes 100ms to induce regret...

    • by jayegirl (26328)

      I call bullshit.

      I've been recently been wiring my drumkit for recording and have been finding that actions that I consciously perform -- flams in particular -- are timed in the 2-10ms range. Hell, 150ms is rolling through four fingers on a surface less than twice a second. Pretty much everyone can do better than that.

      Sure, the OP's figures above might apply to single-shot actions, as opposed to repeated or sequential actions, but 150ms is still a damn long time.

  • by grag (597728) on Friday July 16, 2010 @04:14AM (#32923914)
    Instead of having several screens for one display, a large touch display can be divided into several touch screens for a number of doctors at one time. Just proposing an idea for hospitals.
  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ceraphis (1611217)
    I was under the impression that iDevices could handle more than two inputs at a time? The first paragraph mentions that only up to a pinch is polled at a time?
  • Two things (Score:2, Funny)

    by Linker3000 (626634)
    1) Time to get shares in companies that make screen cleaning and protection products

    2) Anne Boleyn is disappointed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      1) Don't 3M make those?

  • cat attacks (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    i'm sure this will all seem like a great idea until your cat walks by the screen and drags your files into the trash with it's tail.

  • 20 fingers? Finally the input device needed for my Unchained Melody application..

    *continues programming on his 3D pottery wheel*

  • lazy surfer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stimpleton (732392) on Friday July 16, 2010 @06:30AM (#32924394)
    It is Friday 10:25pm for me, after had week at work, with a few beers under my belt.

    Reading this story I have noticed my own user habits. My mouse cursor can move from one side to other of my 24" screen in about 1.5 inches mouse movement. I click links.Mouse wheel up and down.

    I doubt I could accept using my hand to move over 24 " of screen. In fact I just emulated it, holding my hand to the screen, then moving 20 inches to a link that interested me.

    To much effort. Do not want.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      You take your hands off the keyboard [vimperator.org] to surf? What a workaholic.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      There's no reason you couldn't have both mouse and touochscreen, just like you can have both a mouse and joystick. That was my preferred way of playing Quake. It would supplant rather than replace it.

      Of course, that's assuming clueless programmers program with good design in mind, which they seldom do. Why do I have to take my hand off the keyboard to close a window (minimize, maximise, close in the upper right of the screen in both Windows and KDE) when I'm in a word processor or text editor? Sometimes eve

  • I can image Captain Hook trying to use those magic gestures with a multi-touch screen. Does it pass the Americans with Disabilities Act test? Imagine Tinker Bell using her feet. Does everyone have thalidomide on the brain? They keep dropping the ball.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Captain Hook is going to have a hard time using a mouse and keyboard, too. Just because some people are blind doesn't make it illegal to sell sunglasses, and just because some people are deaf doesn't make it illegal to sell headphones.

      Does everyone have thalidomide on the brain?

      "Duh" often?

  • Dear /. editors:

    Please check for common advertising terms like "silky smooth" before putting articles on the main page. Thank you.

    • by cstacy (534252)

      Dear /. editors:

      Please check for common advertising terms like "silky smooth" before putting articles on the main page. Thank you.

      This capacitive touch screen is New And Improved! Why use a laggy, jittery, limited old-fashioned screen when you can have 22" of gleeming silky smooth goodness under your fingers. Some users liken this luxury experience to "getting a massage". You'll effortlessly glide across this screen, making powerful decisions with pinpoint accuracy! You'll hit the sweet spot every time. And you know that's what the ladies really want. Don't be the last one to get this! We're taking orders now -- Have your credi

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Please check for common advertising terms like "silky smooth" before putting articles on the main page

      I believe in this case it was a snarky joke.

      No man is so evil that he cannot turn around and receive God's embrace.

      Maybe not, but I know a few women who are.

  • The pricetag is roughly $1600 Dollars. Ouch.

  • Thanks, now not only can I work with two hands, but my Boss can sidle up and start trying to "help" me while I am trying doing work...

    This has office fight written all over it!

  • I wonder if any components were taped together...
  • Eeeeek! What manner of gigantic monster alien has 20 "fingers" and considers a 22" screen to be an iPod Touch?!?
  • I for one welcome our terrifying 20-fingered alien overlords who use the 22" iPod Touch !
  • OK, so a brand-new 22" $1500 display, and it's only 1680x1050??? That's absolutely pathetic.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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