Fox News turns studio into futuristic setup with massive Windows 8 touchscreens

Microsoft and Fox News are apparently expanding their collaboration. A few weeks ago, Microsoft's Bing Pulse online polling tool became a regular part of the cable TV news show Special Report With Bret Baier. Today, Fox News launched a new studio that has a lot of massive 55-inch touchscreens that are clearly running Microsoft's Windows 8.

The video, which was first posted on the Fox News website, shows one of the cable network's main anchors, Shepard Smith, walking through the studio, called the Fox News Deck. The clip shows Windows 8 being displayed on touchscreens that are set up so they are more like desks than PC displays. The people who man the News Deck are supposedly going to use these big Windows 8 touchscreens to sift through things such as Twitter and Facebook posts for breaking news and also to separate which social networking messages are real and which ones are offering incorrect information.

It's similar to a newsroom one might find in a sci-fi movie, and even Smith says in the clip that the team took weeks to learn how to operate the software and hardware behind it. It's likely that the touchscreens were provided by Microsoft subsidiary Perceptive Pixel. We have emailed Microsoft to find out exactly how much involvement the company has had in the creation of the Fox News Deck.

Source: Fox News

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I think they only use those monitors for the Shepard Smith show since they said that is his new set and they don't show those monitors on any other show but his.

Typical Fox... doesn't quite get how the world works and teams up with losers.

Low-res monitors and sore arms by end-of-day.

Oy.

I give salute to Windows 8 for being so powerful, not just because the OS can run up to 16 terabytes of hard drive, can run 8 large monitors simultaneously and can not match even the most extreme processor available on the market today but because the OS even make the OS haters very8x sick. Totally sick of.

Why don't we all just wait and see how this pan out. Let's see if it will improve the way a news is delivered on air with all of these technologies, or will it be just mostly for entertainment purposes only.

They look like 1080p displays. That makes no sense. I thought they would take advantage of the screen size and use 4K displays.

I thought MS were trying to push the kinect interface? They were even talking about adding it to desktops and laptops, whatever happened to that?

I guess I was just wondering if those commenting about Fox News being biased, which it is, would say the same about MSNBC.

Yes, both have bias. Fox is very far right. MSNBC leans left. But MSNBC even with bias seems to be more factually accurate while Fox regularly spreads misinformation. For the record i'm an independent. I only care about the facts and do my best to fact check everything as time allows.

Why is it not OK for Fox News to be conservative while it's OK for MSNBC to be liberal.

Still, it's a strange sight those huge tablet things.

A340600 said,
Why is it not OK for Fox News to be conservative while it's OK for MSNBC to be liberal.

Still, it's a strange sight those huge tablet things.


They're both stupid, but I fail to see what MSNBC has to do with the article regarding Fox News.

dead.cell said,

They're both stupid, but I fail to see what MSNBC has to do with the article regarding Fox News.

I fail to see what a tired and cliché war about the content on Fox News has to do with the technology.

Spicoli said,
I fail to see what a tired and cliché war about the content on Fox News has to do with the technology.

I'm in agreement with both conversations being irrelevant to the discussion, but you're the last person that has room to talk, considering you'll bring up the most irrelevant topics to a conversation no one is having just to bait people.

dead.cell said,

I'm in agreement with both conversations being irrelevant to the discussion, but you're the last person that has room to talk, considering you'll bring up the most irrelevant topics to a conversation no one is having just to bait people.

Eye roll. Please look up what an ad hominem is and why it's irrelevant 100% of the time.

That is the most ridiculous looking, goofy newsroom i've ever seen! In the video It looks like everything is running Full screen, seems unproductive to me and a waste of screen space.

warwagon said,
That is the most ridiculous looking, goofy newsroom i've ever seen! In the video It looks like everything is running Full screen, seems unproductive to me and a waste of screen space.

Some producers were using the desktop mode. Others were multitasking via snapping. They seemed productive to me.

Typical Foxnews always telling half truths and lies. Everyone knows "BAT" is for Big A$$ Touchscreen not big area touchscreen.

To me it looked like the old days when news layouts were done on drafting boards and cut and pasting involved scissors and glue. Doing layout on a small computer screen didn't really start until the late 80s to 90s.

Spicoli - pretty much. It's the same idea gone modern (or Minority Report); I remember visiting the Philadelphia Inquirer (1979) and seeing *their* layout board (which actually WAS a draftsman's carrel/painter's easel blown up). It is probably familiar to some of the older-school FNC reporters, as a not-insignificant number of them started in print news (lest we forget, FOX does own Dow Jones and Company - which is home to the the Wall Street Journal and a not-insignificant news-ticker service, and they DID raid Dow Jones for talent when starting FNC, and have kept right on raiding them annually since); they are doubtless familiar with layout boards. Because of that, if anything, the layout will doubtless be easiest to master for the ex-print-news folks, followed by the IT folks.

While giant touchscreens alone might not be the future of productivity, I've always thought a giant touchscreen desk to set a traditional "desktop" PC on would be quite a step ahead once it approaches price-competitiveness with normal desks. Such a surface is good for: jotting quick notes, drawing (with wrist and elbow down, not on a screen), and management of one-off tasks. (All things I do with Post-Its and a pen around the periphery of the "desktop" Windows & Mac OSes today.) Other possibilities are keyboard & mouse replacement, and custom input surfaces. I think we'll get to "why wouldn't a desk be a touchscreen?" pricing for such a thing in about 10 years. These sorts of product placements, the Perceptive Pixel purchase, and the "Surface" name revival indicate a quite obvious trajectory.

Actually, the idea behind the Fox News Deck was itself pilfered - specifically from CNN (The Situation Room), which itself pilfered the idea from the real White House Situation Room and similar places in and out of governments all over the planet (the National Military Command Center and National Military Intelligence Center - both in the Pentagon are examples). What makes the News Deck different (and radically so) from CNN's Situation Room (or even the real "situation rooms". intelligence centers, fusion centers, etc. scattered all over the world) is that it is based entirely on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, software, etc. - that typically isn't the case in a news director's control room for even a local TV station, let alone a similar room for a cable news service (or CNN's Situation Room - which is done mostly using CGI and bluescreen/greenscreen technology borrowed from film).

"Nobody wants to use touchscreens at work...."
"Touchscreens are a gimmick..."
"People want the mouse. No ifs, ands, or buts..."

Am I allowed to say "I told you so!" now?

Dot Matrix said,
"Nobody wants to use touchscreens at work...."
"Touchscreens are a gimmick..."
"People want the mouse. No ifs, ands, or buts..."

Am I allowed to say "I told you so!" now?

Actually Dot, with all due respect, touchscreen is a gimmick. Touchscreen is not ready for "primetime". Real productivity still requires the good ole mouse and keyboard. Touchscreen's work for Fox News because they don't do real work and it reflects in their journalism

Actually I was using an HP touch Smart 24 inch PC on my kitchen table with windows 8. I kept swearing at it because I was trying it without a mouse.

Things were taking 3x like trying to drag something, I had to try to press and hold a few times. Then I was using the Windows Modern version of skype i'm like, "How do I drag files in here" to send them. If I was on the desktop I'd be done by now.

Add to the fact my arm was getting tired!

warwagon said,
Actually I was using an HP touch Smart 24 inch PC on my kitchen table with windows 8. I kept swearing at it because I was trying it without a mouse.

Things were taking 3x like trying to drag something, I had to try to press and hold a few times. Then I was using the Windows Modern version of skype i'm like, "How do I drag files in here" to send them. If I was on the desktop I'd be done by now.

Add to the fact my arm was getting tired!

You need to go back and re-learn how the modern interface works. There is no dragging and dropping files there. That's not how it works. Also, the gorilla arm is a tired argument. I work with my Surface all day, and never suffer from it.

Dot Matrix said,
"Nobody wants to use touchscreens at work...."
"Touchscreens are a gimmick..."
"People want the mouse. No ifs, ands, or buts..."

Am I allowed to say "I told you so!" now?

You can, but I am not sure the normal people are listening. They are busy laughing at how stupid this looks. But what do you really expect from Faux News? They broadcast ridiculous stuff and they use the most ridiculous things to get it aired.

warwagon said,
Actually I was using an HP touch Smart 24 inch PC on my kitchen table with windows 8. I kept swearing at it because I was trying it without a mouse.

Things were taking 3x like trying to drag something, I had to try to press and hold a few times. Then I was using the Windows Modern version of skype i'm like, "How do I drag files in here" to send them. If I was on the desktop I'd be done by now.

Add to the fact my arm was getting tired!

Dot, this most people's experience with a touchscreen. My sister-in-law complains all the time about arm fatigue when using her Samsung touchscreen laptop.

JHBrown said,
Dot, this most people's experience with a touchscreen. My sister-in-law complains all the time about arm fatigue when using her Samsung touchscreen laptop.

I call BS. I work with, and use touchscreens daily. No one's arms are raised long enough to cause muscle fatigue. We use touchscreen and keyboard input only. No complaints whatsoever.

Dot Matrix said,
Also, the gorilla arm is a tired argument. I work with my Surface all day, and never suffer from it.
Give it five years.

Dot Matrix said,
Am I allowed to say "I told you so!" now?

Sure, just don't fall asleep at your desk or you might wipe your work.

0:08, look at those people and their screens.
This is one of those cases where big != better.
Heck, the top of the screen is taller than the user's head, the bottom is mid-way between his chest and navel.
And the edges? He'll be stretching his arm a lot to access Charms, and likewise when swiping in apps from the left.

With mouse and keyboard, the user either have both hands on the keyboard, or on both keyboard and mouse. And that's where their hands are at most of the time.

With the Fox News setup, the users might as well be hugging the screen at all times: Right hand grasping the right edge; left hand grasping the left edge.

Also, sitting that closely to a huge, bright screen for hours? Eye fatigue comes to mind (OHS hazard)

Having said that, this setup will be awesome for presentation. The demonstration at 3:37 would be perfect for a host/newscaster.

JHBrown said,
Actually Dot, with all due respect, touchscreen is a gimmick. Touchscreen is not ready for "primetime". Real productivity still requires the good ole mouse and keyboard. Touchscreen's work for Fox News because they don't do real work and it reflects in their journalism


You guys are ridiculous. I knew that most people around here would be unable to talk about the tech and instead bring the arguing into it.

Plus, it seems like people around here have little interest in tech talk anyway, brushing things off simply because they aren't offered by the brand they prefer.

So anyway, regarding this story, I will repeat a bit of what I said elsewhere.

I think your making a rigid claim about productivity being only possible with a keyboard and mouse. If you actually listen to the video, they talk about one of the goals with this setup is around presentation. They demoed many presentation solutions and settled on this one. They showed how they plan to leverage the large screens by letting the viewers see what each journalist is working on topic wise when the host comes over to them for some story.

The people there aren't going to be trying to write up stories and I would suspect that text input would be at a minimum. They are there to sift through tons and tons of media related to news stories. That means video audio, internet sources and of course twitter and facebook. They will be switching between sources as they try to track down confirmation for stories. That kind of 'work' can be done via touch, I think that has been proven at this point.

I can see the fatigue aspect being an issue, but maybe the fatigue symptoms can be mitigated by the style of chair, the angle of the screen, and the distance from the screen. Surely there are some ergonomic adjustments you could make.

I have no idea if this can work long term, I just think its cool to see people trying to use this tech more. Especially in ways that we would have considered to be science fiction years ago. I guess there aren't many people around here that still get excited about such things.

Also, the folks working in the Deck are NOT writers - they are editors, reporters, IT folks, etc. cobbling together reports from multiple sources (both internal to Fox and external). While news reporters CAN write (most of them SHOULD have learned how in high-school, with further inculcation in college), by that point, they have interns or lower-echelon reporters doing the actual writing behind the scenes, then it goes to the editor's desk for polish, then it goes to the control room (or the News Deck) for final polish and fact-checkage, before hitting the air. That trail is not going to be (and should not be) any different, regardless of whether it's Fox News or CNN or even MSNBC. The difference (as I stated) between the News Deck and a typical control room is that it uses entirely commercial off-the-shelf hardware and software. That is NOT typical in broadcast OR cable news. If it can work - and there's little reason why it can't - it will absolutely positively shake up how television news control rooms work - on every level. (As a former employee of a cable company, I am quite familiar with trade magazine Broadcast and Cable - which means that, due to my field being IT, I have some passing familiarity with how the trade uses computers in the back-end - including control rooms.) Right now, control rooms use a lot of niche and custom-written software, along with, in all too many cases, custom-designed hardware as well. Going off-the-shelf means cost savings - which can be huge to monstrous. (That is, doubtless, one major motivational factor.) I certainly can't blame any news organization wanting to save money.

Dot Matrix said,
"Nobody wants to use touchscreens at work...."
"Touchscreens are a gimmick..."
"People want the mouse. No ifs, ands, or buts..."

Am I allowed to say "I told you so!" now?


Have you noticed everyone still uses the Desktop, and all that time wasted with swiping here and there, UI animations and switching between apps? They'd be more efficiant with multiple monitors and a mouse and keyboard. I bet all of those displays are (only) 1920x1080 resolution.

Things need to be bigger. And flashier. With rotating graphics and animations. How else are you going to report on dramatic events without a dramatic newsroom? Dramatic, ongoing events like "War on Christmas" and "Snowpocalypse." Bigger screens are more dramatic, thus better.

Mandosis said,
Fox news is biased how can you really not see that?

Man, I guess I must be one of the few that think it looks pretty neat. As a kid, this was a futuristic look for sure.

I agree that the touchscreens don't look fabulous with those thick bezels, but the concept is cool looking. Maybe its just the sci-fi geek in me that is interested in this stuff.

trooper11 said,

Man, I guess I must be one of the few that think it looks pretty neat.

I think it looks pretty cool too. Lots of haters on here. Stuff like this will only become more common in the future, and people who say it looks stupid and Metro cant be used for work will only look more and more stupid themselfs.

NoClipMode said,
Stuff like this will only become more common in the future, and people who say it looks stupid and Metro cant be used for work will only look more and more stupid themselfs.

Large touch-based displays are useful when it comes to presenting information, like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuEQorfYNsE

However, they aren't suited to productive tasks due to the large amount of movement needed to operate them and the large size of the displayed content. A much smaller screen would be more practical. It's purely for show.

Yep.. 'cuz most obama's followers are on welfare and food stamps ... lol ...

DarkNet said,
Damn, that Twitter app was hideous on that large display. I guess hating on Obama allows them to buy such big items.

MDboyz said,
Yep.. 'cuz most obama's followers are on welfare and food stamps ... lol ...

Most people who are on welfare and food stamps in America are White in middle America. Those states are red as can be. You can tell by the way they carry their bible and gun in the same pocket.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Large touch-based displays are useful when it comes to presenting information, like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuEQorfYNsE

However, they aren't suited to productive tasks due to the large amount of movement needed to operate them and the large size of the displayed content. A much smaller screen would be more practical. It's purely for show.


I'm not sure what your point here is in regards to usage in this setting. Clearly, these systems are not meant for typing. Remember, these people are not there to right stories or anything like that. They are there solely to process large amounts of media. That means sifting through videos, audio, social media like twitter, facebook, and other internet sources.

All of those tasks can be done in a touch screen environment with relative ease. Plus, it can make it fairly easy to switch between multiple sources as you work to track down stories.

Listen to the video again, they talk about how they looked at all sorts of presentation technology and then they settled on this system. So obviously, they were considering presentation scenarios just as you pointed out. They mention how they wanted to be able to jump to a 'station' and the journalist there could pull up and display whatever the topic is for the viewers to see.

I think you guys are getting stuck on the whole 'productive' part of it. The productivity that Fox seems to be going for is work that does not require a keyboard or mouse. Its an attempt to try to be productive in another way.

I guess its just easier to laugh it off, but it seems like just another attempt to leverage the advances in tech.

trooper11 said,
I'm not sure what your point here is in regards to usage in this setting. Clearly, these systems are not meant for typing. Remember, these people are not there to right stories or anything like that. They are there solely to process large amounts of media. That means sifting through videos, audio, social media like twitter, facebook, and other internet sources.

Yes, but they're not displaying are more content on the screen - it's simply larger. If you look at it being used in the background the text being displayed is massive. In the video you can see the taskbar in one of the shots and judging by the size it looks like the displays must only be 1080p or superscaled.

It isn't progress; it's just for show.

I'm not sure we can take what we saw in the background to represent how all of their software works. If there is an issue with the scale, its down to the app they created needing improvements, not a reason to discount the entire idea imo.

The background image of what looks like twitter posts in a very large size could very well be used for presentation only and not be the app that the journalists use to read posts, etc. This is all a new setup for them, so what we were seeing was likely the journalists testing out various apps, still trying to get use to how it all works. They mentioned how tough it has been to educate themselves on it.

I'm interested in seeing it work in practice. I'm thinking that what we saw in such a large blown up way was actually what could be used to present the important pieces of media to the viewers after the journalists and selected info from various sources.

As far as the resolution, yeah that taskbar shot made it seem like 1080p, so that wouldn't shock me.

It is really futuristic, if you mean like a 1960's British spy movie idea of futuristic

The huge h/w borders around the screens, and their docking will look dated as soon as CNN or MSNBC decide to make their own high tech "news deck".

They did everything wrong, and spent a s*** ton of money right down the toilet. Shep's kids are going to have some awesome toys for their rooms in a year though

I am with you on that. They got me really angry with their "report" on SWTOR about makeb and calling it a "gay" planet because people wanted same gender romance option so they added it to a couple of NPC's on the planet.

Biased (in this aspect) meaning that they are NOT biased in YOUR direction.

No - Fox News Channel is NOT biased toward the left the way the majority of the mainstream cable news networks are - and that's a good thing. (After all, the mainstream cable news networks, such as CNN, MSNBC, etc. have done a pretty solid job of presenting the liberal opinion and spin on events - why do we need more of it?) Calling out FNC for it's bias (and not doing the same for CNN and MSNBC) merely shows up your own bias.

Mandosis said,
Fox news is biased how can you really not see that?

All of the news sources are biased. Has been that way for years. The best news is the news you verify yourself.

and watch the lame stream media whereby they reported shots fired and tried to blame the unarmed woman with the kid in her car? it was a cop car that slammed into the barricade, hurt the officer and damaged the car they tried to blame on her. them 100+ officers bore down on her and shot her dead.as far as I'm concerned, mainstream (lamestream) media gets none of my viewing time.

anyway, it's Fox news money and they spent it how they wanted to.

PGHammer said,
Calling out FNC for it's bias (and not doing the same for CNN and MSNBC) merely shows up your own bias.

No it doesn't. Only if the person was like, "Yeah, Fox is the ONLY biased news organization," then you have a point, but you've just regurgitated the typical canned response when someone points out that Fox is biased.

Why I think Fox gets a lot of flack about it being biased is because it's a well oiled Conservative propaganda machine that's in complete denial about it. I was flipping through the other day, and a commentator on Fox responding to the criticisms Fox gets for being biased was, "Our news coverage and opinion shows are fair and balanced."

Yeah...

PGHammer said,
Calling out FNC for it's bias (and not doing the same for CNN and MSNBC) merely shows up your own bias.

MSNBC, sure... But to conservatives the entire "lame stream" media is biased.

Conservatives just want a "Yes" news agency that reconfirms their deluded reality, and any media outlet that calls that reality into question is "biased".

FOX News viewers know much, much less about the facts of the news than viewers of any other network... That's a fact.

archer75 said,
And if fox news wasn't so incredibly biased and often incorrect maybe i'd watch it.

Not just in reply to you, but this is an article about the use of technology. I agree all main stream news outlets are biased and some down right corrupt, but its about the technology in use.

back to the tech, i see this as a great way for the modern UI to make in roads as people will be seeing this daily, seeing being used well, seeing a benefit. Its kind of like the whole period when newsroom backdrops were littered with iMACs in their colour full glory, its a subconscious message that gets people wanting to use what they see.

You can't do anything productive with that fisher price interface they call metro , what a piece of junk.

/s

hater going to cry fool while singing lallalalalala cant hear you!

some people are still in denial,even after the number one cable news network builds a whole news studio based on it, and calls it cutting edge technology.

but as usual, people are going to hate.

vcfan said,
some people are still in denial,even after the number one cable news network builds a whole news studio based on it, and calls it cutting edge technology.

but as usual, people are going to hate.


The number one cable news.... for you.

Its a pretty interesting use for touchscreens.

Of course it looks strange, but I'll be very interested to see how it works. I wonder how comfortable it is for those manning the stations. I suppose if the apps are built well, it could be a slick experience.

They obviously created some custom apps for Win 8 and then hopefully they are using 8.1 for all of its improvements.

The start screen in 8 is a good place to use as a 'dash' of sorts for a list of the apps needed to work with and the ui is certainly good for touch, so itll be interesting to see how it plays out.

trooper11 said,
Its a pretty interesting use for touchscreens.

Of course it looks strange, but I'll be very interested to see how it works. I wonder how comfortable it is for those manning the stations. I suppose if the apps are built well, it could be a slick experience.

They obviously created some custom apps for Win 8 and then hopefully they are using 8.1 for all of its improvements.

The start screen in 8 is a good place to use as a 'dash' of sorts for a list of the apps needed to work with and the ui is certainly good for touch, so itll be interesting to see how it plays out.


As far as I know, there were no custom apps. Bing news was used primarily.

Dot Matrix said,

Yeah. Maybe we should read up/down... Oh, wait. We don't.

How racially insensitive, a number of languages are read vertically.

Check your privilege please.

Because we read our articles in what would be the equivalent of Notepad with Word Wrap disabled lol.

Also, I'm pretty sure he was talking about left and right in terms of political views, not which way you scroll/read...

Edited by dead.cell, Oct 7 2013, 11:59pm :

Athernar said,

How racially insensitive, a number of languages are read vertically.

Check your privilege please.

They do, but English doesn't. The poster replied in English.

Dot Matrix said,

Yeah. Maybe we should read up/down... Oh, wait. We don't.

That's the point. If we read up/down then left to right scrolling would actually be useful. As it is, when you come to the end of a page of text you need to scroll right until the whole of the next page is visible before you can start reading again with left/right scrolling. Up/down scrolling allows you to scroll line by line.

Its a small step backwards but a pointless step backwards none the less.