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Hitachi demonstrates tabletop screen

Touchscreen-based FX-77 Duo on show at CES

Hitachi demonstrated a tabletop screen and projector system that displayed an image on a 77in whiteboard at CES last week.

The FX-77 Duo Starboard allowed users to manipulate data using hand and finger gestures as if they're using a touchscreen.

In the demonstration, Hitachi's Tommy Quach attached a PC to a Hitachi CPA-A100 Ultra Short Throw Distance Projector and surfed the internet, using his hands to call up Google Earth and view neighbourhoods and homes in San Francisco. Hitachi provides software that allows users to highlight, draw on and manipulate data as it's being used.

For full coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show, see our CES 2008 Blog.

The system mimics a touchscreen by using two optical sensors on the Duo Starboard that follow the user's hands. Tapping a finger on a document or picture opens it, and Quach used hand movements to sort through, pull up and swivel photos. The software includes a virtual keyboard to enter new data.

The projector and Duo Starboard are aimed at people who want to jointly view pictures, blueprints, maps and other data on a table, while still being able to call up whatever other data they require from an attached PC or the internet.

Hitachi began selling the FX-77 Duo Starboard in September for around $1,995 (£1,000), while the CPA-A100 projector isn't due out until the end of March, at a price of $2,995 (£1,500).

Any projector can be used with the Duo Starboard, a Hitachi spokeswoman said, but the CPA-A100 was designed for projecting at short distances and has inputs for connecting other devices for viewing.

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