Perceptive Pixel wasn't kidding around when it launched the planet's biggest projected capacitive display here at SIGGRAPH -- all 82 inches of it were here on display, and naturally, we stopped by to give it a look. While 82-inch panels aren't anything new, this one's particularly special. You see, the company actually procures the panels from Samsung, and then it rips the guts out while bonding its own network of sensors directly to it; most large-screen touch devices simply pop a touch layer on top of whatever TV shows up in the labs, but this integrated approach takes sensitivity to a whole 'nother level. For those unfamiliar with the term 'projected capacitive,' we're surmising that it's actually far less foreign than you think -- it's a technology used in a handful of smartphones, from Samsung's Moment to Apple's iPhone. 3M was also showing off a PC tech preview back at CES, and after using it here on the show floor, there's no question that it's the future for larger-screen devices. To quote CEO Jeff Han: "once consumers get a taste of this on the mobile front, they start demanding it elsewhere."
True enough, but the 27-inch and 82-inch pro-cap displays shown here are far from consumer-oriented. Priced at $12,000 and $120,000 (respectively) with a workstation and software included, you probably won't be considering either for your looming man cave. But according to the company, the 82-incher is already proving to be a hot commodity; it's scheduled to go on sale to pre-orderers next month, and every single one it can make has already been claimed. A wider release is targeted for Q4, and while the company wouldn't divulge any details on who's buying, we're guessing it's CNN and the like -- don't be shocked to see these very panels used in the 2012 election coverage. The kicker here is the truly unlimited acceptance of touch points; toss all the digits you want on the panel, and it'll calculate the exact point and movement associated with 'em. We've toyed with plenty of alternatives before, and it's safe to say that Perceptive Pixel has the slickest, most responsive iteration that we've seen to date. Moreover, the outfit took the opportunity today to speak of its homegrown stylus; it's an in-house solution that'll only work on its panels, but it's designed to help artists who'd like to manipulate an object with one hand while doodling with the other. We're told to expect more UI announcements on that front in the coming months, but the precision we witnessed here is already worth drooling about.
Finally, Jeff affirmed that the consumer landscape is "most definitely" on his radar, and just as soon as this technology becomes affordable enough for the mainstream, it'll be headed your way. Where? That's a topic he wouldn't broach quite yet, but all-in-one touch PCs and interactive televisions don't seem all that far-fetched. Come to think about, neither does an 82-inch selection board for your impending Fantasy Football draft.