Reviews

Intel showcases display concepts

Firm working on projection and digital signage systems.

Intel IDF has yet to kick off officially, but the firm previewed a handful of concepts at a tech showcase, with two items catching our attention.

Display without boundaries

The aim of this is to enable users to beam images and videos onto any surfaces within home and business environments.

The concept on show involved a images being projected on to touch-compatible glass bowl. Users can cycle through images and transfer them to another surface such as a wall with a quick tap or swipe using the cloud.

Intel display without borders

A projector is used to place the images on a touch screen bowl. However, in the future Intel is hoping to project images using smaller light sources

"So far images and videos have been limited to being viewed on displays such as TVs, PCs or mobile devices. We're looking to extend this to any surface and whilst retaining gesture based interaction too."

For the demo Intel had to set up a projector precariously facing downwards, but Marshall was confident that the technology can be incorporated into smaller light sources primarily fixtures such as light bulbs, which naturally point vertically onto surface and can be repositioned.

The technology would not just be limited to showing off images, but with other uses including sharing charts or PowerPoint slides during presentations or viewing and planning routes such as Google Maps.

Micro Digital Signage

Another eye catching concept on display was the Digital Program Manager, which aims to benefit consumers and retailers when it comes to shopping.

Micro Digital Signage

A mock up of what a supermarket shelf would look like with the Micro Digital Signage system

The concept has been built using 4in web-connected touch screen displays instead of traditional paper-price tags, explained Tom Birch, the Micro Digital Signage product manager.

The display will allow users to rate products, look at Twitter feeds, select coupons and even allow users to change languages so they can read ingredients. The devices come are built using a HTML5 webpage so retailers will be able to add as many panels as they require.

Micro Digital Signage - Panels

Users will be able to swipe through panels, to see information such as prices, rating and even comments from Twitter

For retailers benefits will include being able to spot consumer trends, and change pricing of goods from a central location. The screens will also come with front facing cameras, so retailers will be able to monitor stock levels of products on opposite shelves.

It remains to be seen when this concept is able to make it to market. Birch acknowledged that retailers have low margins, so the system will have to made as cheap as possible utilising lower-resolution touch screen that those that were on display.

Verdict

It remains to be seen whether these concepts will make it to market. They are in the early stages of conception, but the Digital Signage system could certainly be useful to both consumers and retailers. The only problem is whether Intel can make it cheap enough for mass production.

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