Microsoft buys multitouch display maker Perceptive Pixel

Summary:Microsoft buys multi-touch large-display vendor, emphasizing collaboration in office work as one of the main potential uses of the technology.

Microsoft announced on July 9 plans to buy Perceptive Pixel, a six-year-old maker of high-performance multi-touch workstations and "wall solutions."


Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to the Perceptive Pixel site, its patented technology is used in broadcast, government, defense, energy, higher education, engineering and product design. Multi-touch expert and researcher Jeff Han is the founder of Perceptive Pixel.

"Our innovative, multi-touch platform enables professionals to become more productive, make better and faster decisions, improve results, and collaborate and present their ideas more effectively."

Perceptive Pixel unveiled earlier this year its first-ever simultaneous pen and touch solution.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the purchase during the first keynote of Microsoft's worldwide partner conference in Toronto.

Officials from Perceptive Pixel demonstrated a Windows 8-based demons tration of OneNote, Microsoft's electronic note-taking app, on a large screen on stage at the show. They also showed off an ad-hoc collaboration called Storyboard on the large multitouch screen. Ballmer emphasized Skype and Lync also would be good applications to show off on the new hardware.

Currently, Perceptive Pixel's hardware tends to sell for $180,000. $80,000. But Microsoft plans to work on making it more affordable, Ballmer said.

Microsoft is not a stranger to large-size displays. The company has been working on table-sized multitouch tables -- formerly known as Surface, but now known as PixelSense. The latest version of those table/kiosk-size devices are made by Samsung.

Topics: Collaboration, Hardware, Microsoft


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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