CNN recently went out and picked up some giant touchscreens. Eye candy? Sure, but incredibly cool... and they actually enhance the broadcast quite a bit!
The touchscreens are billed as something out of Minority Report -- but that's a bit of a stretch. I mean, it's a touchscreen, not a holographic gesture-based wünderinterface (which would be... something out of Minority Report). Think "giant iPhone" or, better, sideways Microsoft Surface. I was pretty blown away when I saw it in use tonight. They even have custom software written for it (no simple Google Earth demos here!) to feed in demographics, polls, voting results, custom drawings, etc. etc.
It's a bit too soon to have footage from CNN of tonight (the only time I've actually seen them live), so here's a [long] clip from Super Tuesday:
And apparantly they show off some very surface-esque features as well (have I mentioned I hate I-Reporters? Good.):
Now a little background. About a year ago I became really interested in the work of a guy named Jeff Han. Han is a researcher at NYU who specializes in interface design, and his most prominent work is with multi-touch interfaces. I discovered Han when I was researching multi-touch after the iPhone was announced; some of his demonstrations blew Apple's device away. Han started a company called Perceptive Pixel to produce these multi-touch interfaces, and his main (only?) customers were various United States intelligence services. At a conference last year (interestingly enough, a conference aimed at spies), his work was noticed by someone who worked for Turner, and the result is that a year later CNN (which is owned by Turner) has these ridiculously cool screens.This is the Perceptive Pixel demo: