May 15, 2012

Panasonic Ships 65-Inch Interactive Plasma Display With Electronic Pen

Enid Burns for RedOrbit.com

Panasonic is shipping a 65-inch interactive plasma display, with plans to produce an 85-inch and even 103-inch model. The interactive plasma display line is geared toward the business audience with commercial use as a white board and presentation model.

The Panasonic TH-65PB1 comes with an electronic pen system. The electronic pen allows for drawing at high speeds and produces smooth, accurate writing. The screen supports up to four electronic pens simultaneously. The function of an electronic pen makes the plasma display a suitable tool for the office conference room or even a classroom. Connected to a computer or storage device, business professionals can save the notes from a brainstorming meeting. A professor might allow students to save notes taken on the screen from a lecture to study later.

While Panasonic is introducing the interactive plasma display in a 65-inch model it has plans for an 85-inch model, which is currently in prototype. The 85-inch display would be the size of a standard whiteboard. Screen size is measured diagonally while the size of a white board is given in the dimensions of two sides. Later this year Panasonic intends to release a 103-inch model, which would be the world's largest display for this purpose. The current largest plasma TV set for consumer use is 150 inches, which is the "mother" glass that is typically cut into pieces to make five 50-inch sets. Larger consumer sets will likely be shown, if only in concept, at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Businesses and schools can install the interactive display vertically or horizontally. In a vertical orientation, the screen displays a whole page from a digital textbook at one time. Horizontally, it will replicate the dimensions available on a typical white board. The interactive plasma display presents new possibilities. It is possible to divide the screen into two areas, with an upper section to show images or even video, and a lower section for taking notes. Another mode of input includes wireless connections; the display supports four simultaneous wireless connections.

The self-emitting plasma panel display has a wide viewing angle so it can host an audience around a conference table without sacrificing views for attendees sitting on the sidelines. It displays images with rich color expression. Panasonic claims a high-speed response time. While it excels in interactive display mode, the monitor is also suitable for video and video conferencing activities. Panasonic did not reveal the resolution capabilities or the actual response time for the TH-65PB1.

Panasonic will exhibit the 65-inch TH-65PB1 and the 85-inch prototype at the Educational IT Solutions Expo held this week in Tokyo.

The TH-65PB1 interactive plasma display screen addresses a whole in the current market. Projector-based electronic white boards are in wide use as an interactive display, however the consumer electronics manufacturer believes there is demand for direct-view displays with interactive features. Panasonic estimates demand will support roughly 1.5 million units in the fiscal year to March 2013 and about 3.5 million units in 2016 with the fiscal year ending in March.


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