By: Tommi Ilmonen, founder, Chief Operating Officer
Honestly, I was not expecting this ISE 2018 award by rAVe. Integrated Systems Europe – ISE – is a huge trade show with tons of video walls, with LEDs, LCD and projectors, across 15 halls. I am proud of our product, but I was not expecting to edge past Samsung, LG or the 50 Chinese LED video wall manufacturers in this category.
What makes MultiTaction different? Why did the two iWalls at our booth with MT555UTB multi-touch displays comprise the “the Best Video Wall System”?
When it comes to raw image quality, you cannot beat the giants: LG, Samsung, Barco, Christie etc. have fantastic products (I do envy some of their technical solutions). This is great, but it is not enough.
Where MultiTaction iWall comes first, is the combination of beautiful interaction and powerful applications with the display technology.
Interaction can be beautiful in many ways. There is different beauty in talking with people, making sketches on paper, walking on sand, touching an oak table. Our job is to make beautiful touch interaction with a giant video wall, a tablet or anything in between.
How does it feel?
For the following exercise you need: A table (preferably wooden), both of your hands, 30 seconds of time, a small object (pen, mouse, lipstick etc.) and mental presence.
This is a slow exercise, do not rush it.
Put two fingertips from your left hand gently on the table. Feel the contact and count slowly to five. Know that you have the world in your fingertips, the table, the earth, the stars, the universe. Move your hand to the left and back and feel the contact with the world. It moves with your touch. Put the remaining three fingers on the table. Spread your fingers out. Pull them back in. The world expands and contracts with your movements. Put the fingertips of your right hand on the table. Move both hands together, in slow waves. Feel the world move with your hands. Take the small object into one hand. Feel its surface, shape, texture. Rotate it with your fingers. Feel the movement of your fingers, of your whole body as you do the minute movements. Feel the universe around you. Enjoy.
When you use our display wall, it is our job to make this magic happen. I know we succeed when people touch the display for the first time, move some object effortlessly, get the surprise from how immediate and powerful it is, and they have the sincerest smile. It did take years of hardware design, computer vision, touch tracking algorithms and UX/graphics programming to make it happen, but it is worth it.
When you have a job to be done, you start looking for the tool. In our scope, tool is a combination of displays and software running on those displays. Our own displays (the SW runs on most touch displays) are objectively very capable: They can track fingers and objects with great speed and without hitting performance bottle-necks.
Equally (or more) important are the applications running on those displays. At ISE we had two applications, targeted at two very common needs that companies have. The first one is MT Canvus – a multi-tool for meeting rooms. It can be used for presentations, strategic planning, situational awareness, education – anything where a shared digital canvas is needed to create and store knowledge. The second one is MT Showcase which combines a web-based CMS/editor with a multi-touch player application. It is a tool for creating interactive presentations for signage, visitor centers and museums.
Both of these applications are powerful. One side of powerful is that they have the bells and whistles that the job requires. Another side is raw performance, being able to handle tens of videos, tons of photos, web browsers and still keep up with our promise of fluent, beautiful interaction at enormous resolutions. Yet another side is that the system gives power to the user, you feel that you have world at your fingertips.
I was planning to write a simple “we won this award” announcement, but it got well out of control. I hope you enjoyed it. See you next time at one of our events, showrooms or a trade show.