Though there are bigger multitouch screens out there -- and ones that can support more simultaneous touch points -- 3M's brand new C3266PW is the company's largest, said to be suited for industrial-strength installations with multiple simultaneous users (the company is quick to note that the ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angle along both axes is great for that, since folks can crowd around and start touching). They demoed the new unit here at CeBIT in two ways: three of them in a row on a "cascade table" with one high, one slanted, and one low, and another separate unit mounted on a solo kiosk at roughly eye level. The table's set up as a multi-display Windows box running a tech demo with maps, images, and videos that can be flicked between screens, pinched, and zoomed; the kiosk, meanwhile, is running a rudimentary flight simulator designed to demonstrate all ten points of multitouch capability at once with a finger-based aircraft control scheme (not the way you'd really design a game, but a good demo nonetheless).

3M points out that touch response -- the amount of time that it takes the screen to actually recognize that it's been touched -- is an issue in the industry, and it's not something that we really think about as users; if a gesture is laggy, we just assume the processor isn't up to the task or the software sucks. The C3266PW is rated at a relatively brisk 12ms recognition time, and while the company has other products with even quicker ratings, we definitely noticed the lack of lag as we played around (of course, the computers powering the displays have plenty to do with that). We've come to associate good capacitive displays with glossy glass and resistive with matte, but that's really not a fair assessment -- this one has a non-glare "anti-stiction coating" that, as its name implies, makes your fingers glide like butter. It might not be great for a phone, but it works well for a display of this size that's probably going to be used in public installations and potentially handled by hundreds of people a day. Follow the break for 3M's press release and video of both setups!
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3M's 32-inch display with 10-finger multitouch steps out at CeBIT




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3M Introduces Touch Pen for Consumers and Users of Touchscreen Devices

– New 3M Smart Pen provides precision accuracy for users of popular capacitive touch phones, tablets, monitors and all-in-one computers –

CeBIT 2011
HANOVER, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M Touch Systems Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3M, announced today at CeBIT 2011 the U.S. availability of its 3M Smart Pen, a uniquely designed input device finely tuned for use with popular capacitive touchscreen devices, including the Apple® iPhone®, iPad™ and iPod touch®. Its compatibility with multiple products and its ergonomic and stylish design make the 3M Smart Pen a valuable companion for active users of touchscreen devices currently in the market.

"3M Touch Systems' expertise in touchscreen technology gives us the knowledge and ability to create relevant accessories that further maximize the value of this technology"
The 3M Smart Pen has two designs to accommodate a variety of usage scenarios. The MHP-1000 comes in black, grey, pink and titanium silver with a clip attached for a traditional pen look-and-feel. The MJP-3000 is available in black, navy blue, pink and titanium silver, with a detachable lid that allows the pen to attach to the speaker jack of a portable device.

Both pens have an ergonomic industrial design, giving it a natural, comfortable fit for both small and large hands. Activating with only a light touch, the pen's unique anti-stiction properties let the pen glide smoothly across surfaces with greater precision than a finger and reduces fingerprints on the screen by not using your fingers. The 3M Smart Pen is ideal for users who must wear gloves in their work environment – from cold climates to industrial/manufacturing to healthcare and sterile environments.

"3M Touch Systems' expertise in touchscreen technology gives us the knowledge and ability to create relevant accessories that further maximize the value of this technology," said Chris Tsourides, business manager, 3M Touch Systems. "The 3M Smart Pen is one of the most accurate and high quality capacitive touch pens on the market and we are excited to see how users will enable new and unique ways to use this technology on their touchscreen devices."

The MHP-1000 and MJP-3000 are now available in the U.S. market through Amazon.com for $15.99 and $18.99, respectively. For more information on the 3M Smart Pen and other touchscreen solutions, visit www.3M.com/touch01.

3M Touch Systems provides innovative touchscreen technology products to customers worldwide under the "3M" and "MicroTouch" brands. Popular single-touch and multi-touch applications include: casino gaming, foodservice, hospitality, industrial, interactive digital signage, healthcare, retail point-of-sale and self-service. For an overview of popular touch technologies and terminology, visit www.touchtopics.com. The 3M Smart Pen and other 3M Touch Systems touchscreen displays and systems will be on display at CeBIT 2011 in Hanover, Germany, March 1-5, 2011 in Hall 16, Stand E32.