When it comes to the future of technology, Jeff Han literally has his finger on the pulse.
Han, best known for creating the giant touch-screen "Magic Wall" used by CNN, has been a pioneer in touch technology since his days at NYU. His 40-person company, Perceptive Pixel, is hardly a household name, but the company has carved out a niche for itself selling the kinds of touch wall systems used in defense, government, and medical-research markets.
"We're trying to understand how multitouch is useful to the knowledge worker (to) get real work done," Han told CNET. His comments come just as Perceptive Pixel has landed a new wave of funding, including an investment from products giant 3M. It's the second round of funding for the start-up, which now has offices in New York, Palo Alto, Portland, and Washington, D.C.
While Apple and Microsoft focus on the consumer and retail end, Han has zeroed in on the upper echelon of the business. His only real consumer play was a brief appearance in the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog back in 2007.
Although Han is focused largely on large-screen touch interfaces, one area he is also eyeing is the intersection between touch screens and "Minority Report"-style in-air gestures. On their own, he said, the in-air stuff is fairly imprecise, largely useful for games and entertainment--much the way Microsoft is using it for Kinect. Combine those gestures with a touch screen, though, and things get a bit more interesting, he said.… Read more