Viewsonic and EXOPC have joined forces to drag the PC into the world of touch and gestures. No longer is it the territory of tablets and smartphones alone. The EXOdesk PC represents a new generation of touch screen hardware that is invading our desktops and coffee tables. This week Viewsonic and EXOdesk announced the production of a 32″ EXOdesk that should be available early 2012 for $1,299 USD. The new model will be on display for all to see in the Viewsonic booth at next years CES, January 2012 Las Vegas. Laid out flat the EXOdesk becomes an Über touch screen surface computer or even an interactive coffee table. Upright the EXO is an Über white board and interactive display. Anyway you look at it the EXOdesk is signalling a new way to work with our machines.
Two models of the EXOPC are set to be produced by Viewsonic. The first version to be produced will integrate an Intel Core i7, Intel graphics and Windows 7, all built into the display. The second version produced will not include the integrated PC, this will require a an external PC but will allow you to control the PC’s specifications. The display itself will be a fairly standard 32″ 1080p Hi-Def LCD – 1920 x 1080 -. The surface of the display is the key, the capacitive touch screen is able to handle 10 point touch, with complex gestures and an intuitive on-screen keyboard.
The EXO UI is designed specifically to bring Touch capabilities to the desktop or coffee table near you. The interface itself makes heavy use of swipes, single finger swipes to work within an application, swipe applications in and out, four finger swipes to switch between applications. Icons for widgets and applications are collected around a circular toolbar.
While Windows 7 has struggled to be accepted in the would of the touch screen interfaces MS is working hard to change this, if you are willing to wait for Windows 8 it may well be a nice solution. EXOPC weren’t willing to wait so they just built it themselves. EXOPC have developed their own interface layer that sits over the top of Windows 7, giving the touch interface a far more natural and responsive feel. Why Microsoft couldn’t just adapt their Media Center interface technology to include touch is a question Microsoft is yet to answer.
The EXOEngine is the brains behind the applications and User Interface – UI -. Applications written for the EXOengine can include HTML, Flash, Silverlight, Java, Binary – x86 Win7 – and EXOscript. Applications are executed by the EXOengine, they don’t directly working through Windows 7. Custom application can quickly be built using EXOscript to combine any combination of the available languages already mentioned. Third party developers are being encouraged to develop applications using EXPCO’s developer software EXOfactory, allowing applications to be quickly built and deployed to the EXOstore.
With over 2,500 applications already available in the EXOstore EXOPC seem to off to a good start. There are already stand-out applications which include a full screen DJ mixing desk, full screen piano and analogue synth and many classic board games, essential for any good interactive coffee table. Pre-installed applications cover the day to day basics including; EXOfile for file browsing , EXOplayer for media playback, EXObrowser, EXOtv, Maps, Weather calculator, Alarm and board games. All applications are specifically designed to work with and take full advantage of the EXO UI.
The EXOPC is a shift in the way that we interact with our desktop computers. Following the lead of the Tablets and Smartphones this is a brave new world for our desktop. Microsoft’s Surface is being priced out of the reach of everyday noids – $8,400 USD – but thankfully it is no longer the only touch screen Surface in town, there is a new kid on the block, the EXODesk. The computing surface for everyone.
Source: EXOPC YouTube Channel