August 17, 1998 Design News
Let your fingers do the computing
Laurie Peach, Associate Editor
Hide the cheese. MonitorMiceTM 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.