What is multi-touch?
Traditional touch technologies like those used on many ATM’s allow the user to touch only one point at a time. Multi-touch, as the name implies, supports two or more simultaneous touch inputs. DiamondTouch is a multi-touch.
What do you mean by multi-user touch?
Multi-user touch means that multiple people can touch at the same time and that the touch screen can identify who is touching where. DiamondTouch is not just multi-touch, it is multi-USER-touch.
Is this the same thing as Microsoft Surface or the Apple iPhone?
There are a lot of visible similarities between DiamondTouch and Microsoft Surface and with the interaction techniques of the Apple iPhone. However, these technologies work on different principles. They are all multi-touch, but the major functional difference is that only DiamondTouch is multi-user.
What is the resolution of DiamondTouch?
There are a few different aspects to “resolution”. Regarding the number of pixels on the display, because DiamondTouch is a front-projected technology, display resolution is a function of the projector. We recommend at least SXGA+ (1400 x 1050), but in fact any projector and display resolution will work. Regarding the touch resolution – the ability to resolve a small target with touch input – DiamondTouch is particularly good. The touch resolution of DiamondTouch is 0.3mm, or 2752 x 2064 on model DT107.
How durable is it?
DiamondTouch has not undergone any MIL-SPEC durability testing. However, it is notable that you can drop your keys on it or spill your coffee on it without having to worry about breaking a glass substrate or damaging some sensitive electronics. For high traffic applications (24 / 7 operation), contact Circle Twelve about choices of top surface materials.
Can I use my own projector?
Yes. You do need to have the projected image aimed down onto the DiamondTouch screen. Circle Twelve offers a set of product options for doing this with a few models of projectors, but users are free to use a setup of their own design.
With front projection, is there trouble with shadows?
It is true that there are shadows with front projection. However, user studies show that it is the hand and not the shadow of the hand that obscures more of the image. In fact, there are some virtues of front projection. Imagine touching and dragging a finger-sized icon on the desktop – with front projection the user can see the icon being touched as it appears on the back of the finger.
Can I mount DiamondTouch on the wall?
Yes. However, user studies indicate that people tend to use vertical surfaces for presentations, while users work in small teams around horizontal surfaces. Because DiamondTouch is multi-user, it is best suited for group interactions around the table. If the intended use is for presentations and a vertical orientation, there are single-user interactive whiteboard products available from other manufacturers that work well.
Do I have to use special chairs?
No. DiamondTouch uses capacitive coupling between the touch sensitive surface, through the user, and into a receiver unique to each user. DiamondTouch comes with conductive mats that users can sit on or stand on. Some users prefer wriststraps or a pad to touch or lean on. However, given that small group meetings typically take place with users seated around a desk or a table, most DiamondTouch users prefer to be connected through the chair.
Is it safe to use if I have a pace-maker?
Yes. DiamondTouch easily passes safety standards, including FCC and CE (A & B). It is based on the same low-level capacitive coupling technique used in laptop computers, smartphones and many children’s toys.
Does DiamondTouch use RF communication?
No. DiamondTouch is capacitive. The touch surface has an array of transmitters that emit small signals, but this is not the same as radio-frequency communications.
Does DiamondTouch contain any memory?
No. DiamondTouch is a USB input device to your computer, and DiamomdTouch cannot be used as a memory storage device.
Can DiamondTouch be used with rear projection or LCD displays?
No, not today. However, Circle Twelve is developing products in this area. The standard products today are front-projected.
Is it possible to make a much larger DiamondTouch table?
Yes. The technology scales, and therefore DiamondTouch tables could be made larger or smaller with an arbitrary number of users. Of course there would be some engineering design costs associated with a custom size. The standard products today are designed to support small groups with sizes that allow users can reach all parts of the touch surface.
What is multi-touch?