It appears we are living in an increasingly tactile world. No matter where we look, we are bound to see something with a touchscreen: a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop and so on. A Japanese company is working on technology designed to turn any flat surface, starting from magazines or newspapers, into touchscreens. And it seems there is an increasing demand of touchscreen TVs as well.
Several tech manufacturers have already developed touch pens for their TVs in the last couple of years. The most recent member of the club is Panasonic, which unveiled its electronic touch pen for TV screens in January this year. Two years before, LG released a similar product, the Pentouch, which works with various plasma TV models.
The touch pen allows you to write and doodle on screen, but also to capture an image and save it. With the Panasonic electronic touch pen, you only have to touch the tip of the pen to the TV display to do a screen capture. You also get the opportunity to edit the captured image on screen by drawing anything you like on it.
Which is all very nice but the big question remains: what is the actual use of such a system? Panasonic believes the device is a great way of getting you and your entire family to gather around the interactive TV and have fun together. If you want to, that is.
The system could also be used by businesses as a whiteboard or for work presentations, as it would allow users to easily highlight data on the screen. But is this really necessary, you may wonder. It seems indeed a fancy alternative to the traditional whiteboards or presentations used in business meetings today. Think of it this way: if you want to impress the meeting participants, the electronic touch pen and plasma TV set is definitely the way to go!
The touch pen is for sure a cool gadget, but we’re not sure that is enough to guarantee high sales and success. After all, you can do a screen capture and doodle on the screen of your tablet just as well. The Panasonic gizmo will sell for roughly $80; would you be interested in giving it a try?
[Images via gsmnation]