Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday's column: Creating a market for touch-enabled tables

Sunday's Globe column talks about the competition between a small Framingham start-up company, Circle Twelve, and Microsoft to bring touch-enabled tables to market. (Another start-up, SoCal-based TouchTable, is also in the running.)

Microsoft has some cool videos demonstrating its Surface tables, which will start showing up this week in AT&T stores in New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, and San Antonio.

Here's Circle Twelve founder Adam Bogue explaining how his DiamondTouch table works:

And here's an earlier DiamondTouch video I shot, which focuses a bit more on the multi-user and gaming aspects of the table:

And I wrote earlier about Bogue's participation in a panel on new display technologies, which was the first report that I know of about the creation of Circle Twelve. (Circle Twelve is commercializing technology originally developed at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs in Cambridge.) That post includes an audio recording of the panel made by Dan Bricklin.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Display Demo Night at Cambridge Innovation Center

Two interesting news tidbits emerged at this past Wednesday's "Entrepreneurs on the Edge" demo night at Cambridge Innovation Center.

We brought together five representatives of companies working on new kinds of display technologies. I was least familiar with QD Vision, a Watertown company working on "quantum dot" based LED screens, so it was nice to hear more about their technology. (Their backers include Highland Capital and North Bridge.)

Dan Bricklin was there, and he recorded a podcast of the panel discussion part of the evening.

Two of the companies there shared some interesting news, both related to spin-outs.

Adam Bogue, formerly vp of bizdev at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs, is spinning out a new company called Circle Twelve, Inc. Circle Twelve will commercialize the DiamondTouch table developed at MERL over the past seven years, which turns a tabletop into an interface, allowing four users to sit around and interact with data by touching it. Bogue says that Mitsubishi will have a stake in the new company, and earn royalty payments from every sale. He's looking to raise about $1 million to get the company off the ground.

The system sells for $10,000, which doesn't include the LCD projector it uses to project images onto the table, or the laptop or PC that serves as a CPU. (A Computerworld article mentioning DiamondTouch is here.) Bogue was getting a lot of questions last night about how the table is different from Microsoft's Surface technology, and also the Perceptive Pixel technology used on CNN during election nights. For one, DiamondTouch is available now...

Here's a video of Bogue's demo that I shot:

And David Rose, founder of Ambient Devices, said he's helping to launch a new company called Vitality, to bring to market smart pill bottle tops called GlowCaps. (Rose stepped away from day-to-day responsibilities at Ambient earlier this year.) GlowCaps will not only remind you when to take important medications (and perhaps e-mail your doctor to let her know you're sticking to the regime), but could send a reorder request to the pharmacy when your stock of pills dwindles. (More from Engadget. Rose said he has raised some seed funding already to do some consumer trials from a West Coast angel investor.

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