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The Arrival of Smart Displays

Techstination feature for Tuesday, January 7, 2003

The arrival of Smart Displays. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Another new hardware concept from Microsoft arrives. The Smart Display... .

"Smart Displays are really about the evolution of the monitor. And it's really to enable the consumer to gain access to their Windows XP PC from any room in their home. We know that people are spending more time browsing the Web, reading email. And we know that they don't necessarily want to do that in one place in their home. So Smart Displays effectively allow them to access their PC from any room in their home."

Aubrey Edwards is the marketing director in the embedded and appliance platform group at Microsoft. ViewSonic is among the first manufacturers out with SmartDisplays. They essentially are portable LCD touch screens that use a wireless network to let you control the main PC in your household. The concept works fine for Web browsing, but not so well for things like email. Tapping on an onscreen keyboard is slow ... and plugging in a USB keyboard takes away the portability. Another big problem for now at least is price. A model with a ten inch display sells for a thousand dollars. A 15 inch model goes for three hundred more. For the same money you could buy a notebook computer with a lot more smarts than the Smart Display. But Edwards says...

"Both of those packages include everything you need which includes a Windows XP Professional upgrade as well as a USB wireless adaptor."

Another issue is Microsoft could cause some confusion with its other new concept... the Tablet PC. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.