The digital future appears to be one that embraces touch-screen technology, or so Microsoft thinks. Last year they showed off the $10,000 Surface, which is a large touch-screen table that can interact with things that are placed on it. For example, the Surface has started showing up in AT&T stores as a way for users to compare and contrast devices that they sell.
On a relatively cheaper side they are now looking at a way to make whiteboards interactive. All you’ll need is a few hundred dollars worth of equipment including a computer, a screen, projector, an infrared camera, and three infrared lasers. Oh, and an application called Plex that runs on Vista. Put all of that together and you get the Microsoft TouchWall.
According to Crunchgear there are no plans to commercialize the product, but as you can see in the video demonstration there are quite a few practical purposes. Meetings could become more interactive as you flip through documents in front of the attendees, or classes could benefit from being able to draw/annotate on items that appear on the screen. This really brings a whole new level to whiteboards, and offices would surely scoop something like this up if it was only a few hundred dollars.
Here’s a video that shows off some of the touchy-feely goodness: