We’ve managed to get some hands on time with Albatron’s recently announced 42-inch Optical Touch Monitor, or OTM for short and as the name suggests, this display is using a new type of touch screen technology. We shot a short video of it being demonstrated which you can watch after the break.
The display works by having a pair of CMOS cameras installed in each of the top corners, as well as reflectors fitted to the sides and bottom of the screen. The cameras are used to “sense” where your finger is, although you can use pretty much anything as long as the diameter isn’t too small, so the back of a pencil would work well instead of your finger if you’re afraid of smudges.
The sensor and reflectors are mounted onto a tempered glass panel that sits on top of the LCD panel and as such acts as protection for the LCD panel, although it should be possible to implement this technology without the glass panel in say a notebook. A small controller board is then attached and this is in turn interfaced with the computer via a USB connector.
It’s a very simple, yet elegant solutions that works very well and it does of course support both multi-touch and gestures. The OTM is Windows 7 compatible and although the 42-inch models is not priced with consumers in mind, Albatron is offering a 21.5-inch model with 1,920×1,080 resolution for a retail price of about $450 (€304) in selected markets.
We were also told by Albatron that the cost of implementing this technology doesn’t increase much by going to a larger screen size which is one of the major selling points of this technology, unlike most touch screen technology which gets exponentially more expensive as the screen size gets bigger. We’re hoping that this might just be the future of touch screen technology and Albatron is expecting to license this technology to other display manufacturers, so we might see this from some more familiar brands in the near future.