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Intel Labs Display Without Boundaries

Display lets you flick images from bowl to wall and back again

Over the years we have seen quite a few odd displays aimed at government. I think the weirdest one was a concave tube that required users to stick their heads inside the enclosure while an image was projected all around. There was no ventilation, so it got hot inside, and prolonged use caused severe motion sickness in most of the people who tested it. One unfortunate guinea pig tester had to lie down afterwards and was dizzy for the rest of the day.

But now Intel Labs may have an even more unusual technology called Display Without Boundaries. Photos and videos can be projected onto any surface, even the inside of a bowl, so that it looks like someone had just dropped a bunch of snapshots into it. But users can interact with the images – they can just reach their hands inside and swipe photos onto an interactive screen, or they can touch a photo in the bowl and then touch the screen to make it appear.

Images can be displayed and manipulated on practically any surface. Users can arrange multiple images or videos, resize them, add new ones or remove them by flicking them to a new surface.

Intel officials told Computerworld at the European Research and Innovation Conference in Barcelona  that the point of the new display is to make images more interactive. In the demo, once an image was found inside the bowl, it could be flicked over to a wall for a larger look. All the big images were projected using standard LCD or DLP projectors.

It’s interesting to note that a key component to the Display Without Boundaries is a Microsoft Kinect game sensor, which we have already seen added into everything from a mapping program for first responders to a 3D display for desktops,  so that might be the real star of the show here.

Of course, Intel has added a lot of software on top of the interface to make Display Without Boundaries work properly, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that, yet again, this is an adaptation of gaming technology that is finding its way into government and the mainstream.

Is there a need for Display Without Borders in government? Yes, and probably more so than most organizations. Feds, as you well know, seem to be addicted to presentations. And if Intel’s new gadget can make them more interactive and functional, then it could easily find a home in an agency boardroom.

Unfortunately, Intel didn’t have any idea when the new product would actually be released. But we’ll keep our twitchy fingers ready.

Posted by John Breeden II on Nov 13, 2012 at 9:39 AM


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