Giant tablets on the horizon after Microsoft buys Perceptive Pixel

Microsoft has confirmed that it is in talks to buy Perceptive Pixel Inc, a touchscreen developer that specialises in large displays. While rumours spread about Apple working on a mini iPad, could Microsoft be about to go the other direction and start working on large wall-sized tablet devices?

Perceptive Pixel’s founder and chief technology officer Jeff Han was introduced to the stage at a Microsoft conference in Toronto before playing with a wall-sized touchscreen device that appeared to be running on Windows 8. 

Han swiped between various Windows 8 applications, zoomed in and out of the maps with the pinch and pull method and highlighted specific content using a stylus.

Though Microsoft hasn't revealed how much it is paying for Perceptive Pixel Inc, it won’t be cheap, so we can also expect the technology to be used in smaller touchscreen devices, particularly as the demand will be far higher than larger displays.

Microsoft has already revealed two of its “Surface” tablets that will run on Windows 8 in the shape of the Surface for Windows RT and Surface for Windows 8 Pro, available in October and in early 2013 respectively.

Of course it’s not the first time Microsoft has been linked to a large touchscreen display, with an 80-inch Windows 8 tablet said to be already hanging on the wall of Steve Ballmer’s office as well as the original Microsoft Surface (now called PixelSense), a 40-inch touchscreen device revealed back at CES in 2011.

Do you think there's a market for wall-sized touchscreen devices? Let us know in the comments below.



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