Other than the outstanding quality the display and the fast response time, the greatest benefits of this display are simple: It integrates multi-touch, a computer tablet or ultra-book, a webcam, microphone and you can plug a keyboard directly into the monitors.
In a recent interview, Cris Derr, product marketing director for Planar Systems, noted that one of most important trends that they identified that drove their decision to develop the product was that developers were getting re-excited on the Windows platform. “The big reason for this is that they can make money now once again on the Windows platform. Those developers are creating the applications that users want. Those applications drive the demand for things like touch technology,” he said.
“We saw these three things: Windows 8, hardware vendors and developers getting re-excited about developing on Windows, and we decided to build a display to basically pair with those coming trends,” said Derr.
Windows 8 puts touch technology first on this platform, which is very clear once you start using it. “People like to pair their ultra-books or their tablets or their laptops with a larger screen when they go back to their desk. They want to have that experience that they were having on their tablet or ultra-book be extended. That’s where Helium got seeded and became an idea that then became a product,” said Derr.
Planar Systems had three fundamental things in mind when they set out to design the Helium display: First, “We wanted it to be a very functional display. The touch had to be super responsive, it needed to have the sort of feature-set people would want like the webcam feature; USB, display port; HDMI. The second thing was the ergonomics. We wanted it to be very easy to use. We wanted a display to be able to be both upright and then easily move into a drafting table or a more touch-friendly layout. Then the third area was the design. We wanted it to be really beautiful. We wanted it to be something that people would want to have on their desk. Something that was sleek beautiful and something you’d want on your desk or feel equally comfortable putting it in a retail environment because it looked really nice,” concluded Derr.
From this reviewer’s perspective, I’d say Planar Systems nailed all three points.
I have a background in design and can easily see this display lying flat on the desktop and use to collaborate with another user.
Planar lists a whole bevy of targeted end users. To be honest, I don’t see a scenario where this multi-touch display wouldn’t fit, from corporate users to those using CAD software to the medical field to my office and most certainly at my home — the “prosumer.”
Whenever we get new technology in the EH Publishing offices people swarm. A lot of people were playing the Xbox Live Fruit Ninja Kinect fruit slicing game and amazed at the responsiveness. I wonder if the game developer had a 20-point, multi-touch monitor in mind with the scoring? As my coworkers were walking away — almost to a person they said, “That’s great, but who is going to pay $2,500”? I never mentioned price. When I said that the Planar Helium 27-inch was retailing for $899, they were pretty stunned.
This display is available through integrators but will also be sold through CompUSA in October.
I am thinking Apple finally has a competitor.