Could the iTable outshine Microsoft's Surface?

Over at the PQ Labs stand at CES the company has been demonstrating a product that's very similar to the Microsoft Surface. PQ labs have named it the "iTable".

The iTable has some very nifty features starting with the development side, it has a SDK which like the Surface you can adapt to make your own. The touch screen itself can have only a limited amount of fingers on it at once but the hardware can have as many as you like as its customisable. PQ labs currently manufacture several touch screen technologies.

You see the name and you think iMac or iPod but it actually runs Windows XP and there's no OSX in sight If you have some application you want to run on your iTable you can because it can run it straight away as long as you map the correct API's. It's clear with the name being iTable and the compatibility of applications means PQ labs are modelling this as a mega sized iPhone or iPod touch.

Now you're all wondering how much this will cost? There's several prices for different models but if you want the economic version then its going to set you back nearly $10,000. You will need to purchase the equipment, which includes Multi-Touch G2 and a 32" LCD Overlay, and then the iTable itself which is $7000. The official 30" version is $12,000 so you are saving money if you go for the 32" overlay. When you look at the pictures and the videos in the demo below you can see the potential is there for this device. It's always good to have competition because it brings the out the best in the companies competing in that market and pushes prices down for the consumer.


Video Courtesy of Crunchgear

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erm shouldn't the iTable actually be a table?
I've seen multi touch screens before and that is not what Microsoft Surface is about

E.Fahd said,
Ummm ... sorry but a big multi-touch screen has absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft Surface =/


I agree.

A large Multi-touch screen is just that, they already sell smaller versions that you can get from HP, etc.

If you want to do a touch screen computer, buy a nice touch screen or even do the Wii remote mod on a screen, and then pick up Windows7 when it comes out, as it adds new UI elements for touch.

There are tons of ways to add touch to even huge projection screens, via Whiteboards or tracking technology (since 1997 that I know of at the minimum).

This product is just a headline attraction with the name and people ignorantly comparing it to MS Surface.


In regard to Surface, this product truly has NOTHING to do with MS Surface or Surface technology.

Everyone reading this article and thinking Surface is just a touch screen, you need to do a double take and actually go look up the MS Surface and its technology.

Let me repeat to everyone reading this:

Surface is NOT a multi-touch display, it is a display technology that uses cameras to see the screen from the other side.


This means you can have unlimited points of touch at any time, and the system can also see the size of what is touching it and recognize items laying on the screen. So a paintbrush on the screen will be seen as the size and shape it really is if you were going to use it as a glorified canvas for example.


Surface technology or the platform SDK is not an OS as others have also incorrectly stated. Surface is more about hardware and the recognition technology that runs it.

MS Surface is the hardware to make it happen and then just a set of APIs suited for the vision/display technology and a framework running on a very normal version of Windows Vista. (When Win7 comes out, surface will run on it as well, understand everyone?)

thenetavenger said,
MS Surface is the hardware to make it happen and then just a set of APIs suited for the vision/display technology and a framework running on a very normal version of Windows Vista. (When Win7 comes out, surface will run on it as well, understand everyone?)


Look, very well stated and thankyou for the technical explanation but I dont think differentiating them is in the interests of the consumer market. Quite frankly if manufactuerers and consumers wish to compare them and lump them into the same platform then go ahead, as its all touch technology to most common end users.

Your trying to differentiate them is about as good as Sony's attempt to keep the Vaio P from being called a netbook or Microsofts failed attempts at trying to distinguish smartphone from pocket pc. Whilst clearly they could be differentiated, to the end consumer they are what they are popularly lumped in as and as long as the technology is promoted and becomes more popular then its all good.

I guess the "i" is only for marketing purposes as a person not knowing that much about technology will associate it with apple and like it or not it will help them to sell the product. Personally I would like to have seen a different name as well.

I think this is great, the more devices in this platform the better. The tables and the overlays are still too expensive for consmers and even most businesses. Not only that but once you purchase the units you then have to comission a programmer and designer to build the apps for your particular organisation - if you wanted to fully use it to its potential...little point having a surface and just showing pictures or powerpoint. Make no mistake there are amazing apps starting to come through from one design firm (VectorForm) in particular but with more comp hopefully more will follow.

THese itables and surface are nice but I see the big push coming from the overlays, much cheaper and more likely to be dessimated to people and business.

Samsung also showed off a similar 50" multitouch display at CES and there is a company in the UK called....wait for it....u-touch, they have done some pretty good stuff in this field and have their overlays down alot cheaper at this point.

Can manufacturer's PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD avoid using "i" to prefix their product lines? Does this not annoy other people? Just think of a freaking name! Calling your product "iTable" makes it sound unoriginal and uninspired. Apple is not immune to this rant either. If "i_______" is the best name your marketing team can come up, with you need to fire them and hire a new marketing team.

iAgree. It works for Apple's products like the Pod and the Mac and the Phone but when other people started using it things became annoying. Yes BBC why did you call it the iPlayer?

karma said,
Because iPlayer is easier than saying Internet Player... You guys should really understand things before spouting.

You mean they couldn't think of anything less generic than "internet ________"? Abbreviating Internet _____ to just i_____ doesn't justify anything - it's just as bad!

No, the real reason the BBC named it the iPlayer - and the same reason this company named their product iTable - is because it's trendy and catchy to emulate Apple who made the i____ name mainstream. It shows a pathetic lack of creativity and imho by not generating a UNIQUE moniker for their product they are damning themselves to being seen as generic or, worse, being disassociated with their product.

Heh. I boycott anything named "iProduct". Sorry, but if you can't come up with a name for your product without relying on the success of another company's naming convention then you've got serious problems and a complete lack of creativity.

erm, microsoft surface is so much more than just a multitouch screen. The two technologies are nothing alike, comparing them is kind of sily, no?

Three things wrong with this:

1) Microsoft beat them to it with Surface.
2) Microsoft also beats them with the price. Surface is $5,000.
3) I can see a lawsuit from Apple coming soon.

MightyJordan said,
Three things wrong with this:

1) Microsoft beat them to it with Surface.
2) Microsoft also beats them with the price. Surface is $5,000.
3) I can see a lawsuit from Apple coming soon. :D

Since when is the Surface $5,000? Last I heard it was $12,500.

I'd imagine that this is also less advanced than the surface as well... it appears to be nothing more than a large multitouch display.

And yes, as theyarecomingforyou stated above, Apple can't copyright a lowercase "i". It's not an Apple knockoff and it doesn't compete with anything Apple already offers... so as much as they'd want to, I don't think they can do anything about it.

Silverskull said,
Since when is the Surface $5,000? Last I heard it was $12,500.

Whoops, you're right; it is $12,500. I swear I heard somewhere that they were doing two versions costing $5,000 and $10,000.

Only thing this has over Surface is it doesn't require a special OS to run it. Surface if I'm not mistaken does.

Xero said,
Only thing this has over Surface is it doesn't require a special OS to run it. Surface if I'm not mistaken does.


No and no, this is running XP, Surface runs Vista...

Exactly.

For instance, there are these "i-clickers" that are used in universities. They allow you to select answers, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" audience style. As long as Apple doesn't manufacture a similar device for the education sector, there's nothing wrong with calling it "i-clicker."

At first I almost thought that Apple was going to try and attempt to rival Microsoft again. Title's a bit misleading. This does look pretty cool, although they should name it something else because it has nothing to do with Apple. That, and the whole "iCrap" thing is getting a bit old.

Why does everyone assume i-Anything has to do with Apple? People have used the 'i' prefix before Apple. 'i' stands for Internet. Last I checked, Apple doesn't own the internet.