Interview

 

Multi-touch

Multi-touch displays are an emerging phenomenon today. Including iOS devices and Android tablets, today you see these multi-touch displays in the form of kiosks as well as interactive signage in retail, banking and other verticals.


Audi Taraldsen of Scala partner Norvision talks to us about multi-touch displays.

DSS: Why are multi-touch interactive digital displays gaining popularity in the market?

AT: Multi-touch interactivity is a part of the natural evolution of machine-human interaction. We have used our fingers to grab and move things for thousands of years, why not use multiple fingers to move information around? When I introduced my three-month old son to the iPad, he took his hand and swiped the surface. Not that he knew what he was doing, but it was an instinctual gesture. Multi-touch interactivity has gained so much traction in the past few years as it feels “natural” and the experience can be personalized for every customer.

DSS: What’s typically the catalyst for a company already using traditional digital displays to shift to multi-touch digital signage? What have been the challenges companies face in adopting multi-touch display technology?

AT: Two challenges that companies have typically faced in the adoption of multi-touch displays are price and content. While the technology price has significantly dropped over the last two years, developing content for multi-touch displays can require specialized tools and techniques that content pros need to gain more experience using. Software like Scala can help shrink the learning curve.

As companies begin to understand that multi-touch displays provide users with a very personalized experience where they can navigate the information as they wish, adoption of this technology has increased. Having a multi-touch display also makes the brand seem as being state-of-the-art.

DSS: Can you share some application examples of how multi-touch digital signage is used today?

AT: Two application areas where we are currently seeing good traction are trade show events and kiosks in healthcare. Trade shows require companies to draw more traffic to their booths and a multi-touch display does just that. Our 13×9 foot video walls are very popular among tech companies which want to promote their products and services in a very eye-catching way. In the healthcare sector, multi-touch kiosks are beginning to displace single touch kiosks. For example, we worked with a large health care company that wanted a new way to present information to potential clients. We built several prototype kiosks with facial detection, enabling content to be displayed based on gender and age. So if the kiosk detects that you are male and 16-years of age, it will showcase information relevant to that demographic. Further, customers can create a simple health profile by using multi-touch gestures on the screen.

Overall, our research shows that the increasing familiarity people have with iOS and Android devices today is a big driver in them becoming more comfortable using multi-touch kiosks.

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