For some years now if you wanted the ultimate in interactive desks you either had to watch a science-fiction movie and dream, or spend many thousands of pounds on a Microsoft Surface table that was limited in functionality because there weren’t, frankly, very many around. I’ve had a play with Surface at Microsoft UK and which the technology is intriguing and very compelling, the lack of functionality soon resulted in my becoming bored and moving on to play with something else instead.
What’s really needed then is an interactive desk with the power of surface but with an already established developer community and a price-tag that you don’t have to be a hotel chain to afford. Now the dream is set to become a reality in 2012 with the launch of the EXOdesk from EXOPC. In this exclusive from TheLongClimb I have all the latest information about this exciting and intriguing new computing desk, complete with never before seen images.
In this feature, EXOPC spoke exclusively to me about their new desk computer, and revealed for the very first time technical details about this exciting product.
So first of all what is it? Well it’s a 40 inch 10-point capacitive touch screen embedded into a piece of very swanky looking furniture. It will be formally unveiled at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where it will be hosted by the (still secret, I really can’t tell you) manufacturer of this amazing screen. Trust me, it’s simply one of the finest manufacturers in the business!
The screen itself is a full 1080 panel with 178 degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles and, as I said, a huge 10 point touch interface. You can attach a PC to it directly or use it as an extra display with or without your existing computer with the provided EXOdesk software. If you simply want to use it to show video you can do this too.
It supports a standard keyboard and mouse being placed on the display but can also display virtual keyboards and mouse pads. The company say they have a special virtual keyboard that “that is modular and can be moved part by part to match the ergonomic needs of everyone, for example, you can drag number keys from top of the keyboard to a virtual keypad, separated from the other keys.” The sheer thought of all this brings a shiver to my spine as I think back to TRON in 1982 and how much I wanted one then. It is also fully compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8.
So who is the EXOdesk being marketed at? Business, home and professional users who want to find new and exciting ways to interact with computers will all benefit from designers and musicians to stock-brokers and people who need access to a wealth of information easily accessible all the time. The EXOdesk is expected to retail at around $1300 for the consumer version when it goes on sale next year. This is a really staggeringly low price for the technology provided.
So what are EXOPC saying about their new ExoDesk? They’re calling it The Most immersive experience.
- Very large panel just under your eyes
- Highly immersive themes
- Full HD Video tabletops
- New experience to interact with virtual objects
- Virtual mouse pads and keyboard pads with visual feedback
- Your world under your eyes
- Keep an eye on your social networks
- View news feed, weather
- Your video channels, webcams
- Statistics, alerts
- Snapshots and memos
- Download dedicated applications from EXOstore
- Download new themes
- Customize your experience with libraries of table tops, video backgrounds, objects and animations
I’ve seen two exclusive new videos of the device in action and the themes are every bit as exciting as you might imagine, being either static or animated, and the overall touch and animation effects the company is showing off are simply amazing. I will have another exclusive at the end of next week the company tells me with a first public look in depth at the ExoDesk in video.
So what does the EXOdesk offer business users? It’s not competing with Surface the company tell me, as it’s aiming at a different part of the market, the more mainstream user who wants it for productivity. On this the company says it offers.
- Contextual information
- Live information and data feeds
- Dashboards, alerts and metrics
- Image and document viewing
- Workflows and procedures
- Quick guides and visual information
- Tools and utilities
- Smooth customization and integration
- Customize using XML and HTML based templates
- Interoperability layer for easy integration with your infrastructure
- Private cloud
Also for developers EXOPC aren’t resting on their laurels with support for the very latest and most exciting programming technologies.
- Exciting HTML5 application development
- Full HD, hardware accelerated HTML5 container
- Auto-transitions for backgrounds and objects
- Contextual information (active app, multiple display, mouse and keyboard stats, clipboard, access to the other screens as images in canvas, etc)
- Increase your own productivity
- Applications dedicated to developers
- Visual guides
- Contextual information (color picker, mouse position, objects dimensions)
- Have fun and make money
- Most immersive HTML5 development kit
- Publish your free and paid apps and tabletops to the EXOstore
Taking full advantage of the benefits brought by HTML5 they say…
the HTML5 development kit includes functions to implement physics behavior for all applications (realistic behavior including gravity and friction)
EXOPC are a Canadian technology company that launched their excellent self-titled Windows 7 tablet just over a year ago. The tablet had fantastic build quality and I even got one myself for this. It is still on sale, rebadged and rebranded many times over depending on the supplier you buy it from and was chosen as the tablet of choice for Intel when developing their MeeGo operating system. The original EXOUI which acted as a skin over the top of Windows 7 also found its way onto many other Windows 7 tablets worldwide.
You can view a short demo of the EXOdesk in action here, but as I say I’ll have an exclusive new video for you soon.