Multi-touch interactive displays, the choice interface of futuristic cinematic endeavors, now stand the forefront of the consumer electronics and multimedia entertainment industy. Highly intuitive user interfaces have been rapidly commercialized and integrated into daily life.

Stop and think about it. Watching the news (CNN’s eight-foot “Magic Wall” courtesy of Perceptive Pixel), withdrawing cash from an ATM, making calls on a mobile phone, casting votes on Election Day, paying the bill at a restaraunt (courtesy of Microsoft Surface), getting directions with the latest GPS navigator, or gaming on a portable device. . . touch screens are ubiquitous.

But this is only the beginning, since touch is only one form of interactivity. Single-chip 3D engines & sensors coupled with multi-modal, multi-touch LCD displays will revolutionize the user experience in both computing and gaming. Display and technology developers already have holographic interactivity, haptics, and gestural interfaces (think supercharged Nintendo Wii) in the works. It’s all uphill from here.

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The Interactive Displays Conference 2009 is being hosted at the Hilton in San Jose two months from now. I’m excited about attending and getting a market overview straight from industry heads! IDC2009 will assess advances, as mentioned above, and discuss the challenges of interactive display development and integration. Register here.

Great Expectations:

  • Updates on surface computing from Microsoft
  • Latest applications for interactive displays from uWink, Ecast, BMW and Flextronics
  • Trends in interactive gaming technologies from 3M Touch Systems
  • Multi-touch and the design of user experiences from Wacom Technologies
  • Emerging holographic interaction technologies from EON Reality
  • Design, affordability, interactivity of touch screens with Pixel Qi’s Mary Lou Jepsen, founding CTO of the OLPC Initiative
  • Strategic analysis of the rapidly emerging interactivity industry from iSuppli

[Update] Looks like Jeff Han, founder of Perceptive Pixel [view official demo here], will be making an appearance for a keynote address!

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