Hide the cheese. MonitorMice(TM) for NT is on the loose. Elo TouchSystems Inc. (Fremont, CA) introduced a patented touchscreen software technology that dramatically reduces the cost of touch applications by enabling multiple touchmonitors to connect to one Windows NT Workstation. Users and developers can run a network of up to 32 monitors from a single PC. "With this technology, it is possible to configure a system with a single PC and four Elo touchmonitors for under $6,000. A conventional system with dedicated PCs could cost as much as $15,600," says Mike Lewis, company product manager.
NT was designed as a multi-tasking, multi-threaded operating system. However, an NT workstation can only accept a single keyboard or mouse input. MonitorMice overcomes this limitation by providing several independent touch input devices on one workstation. Each input device can be paired to a separate program instance window on a separate program thread, all on the same workstation.
In addition to MonitorMice, Elo announced what it says is the first Universal Serial Bus (USB)-compatible touchmonitor pre-configured in the Windows 98 operating system. The monitor offers instant operation in a "plug-and-touch'' environment. With a USB, a user can daisy-chain as many as 127 devices on a single computer. The new technology is slated for factories, health care institutions, training classrooms, restaurants, hotels, retail stores.