Ralph Grabowski notes in a recent blog entry that several companies including Microsoft, Autodesk and even CNN are demonstrating use of very large multi-touch flatpanel LC screens. Right now these displays cost upwards of $100,000. The emphasis really needs to be on ‘right now’.
The prices for flat panel TVs and computer displays are declining very aggressively year over year and are now in the range that consumers are purchasing them in droves. In fact, a quick Google shopping search indicates that today you can buy a new 42” flat panel LCD TV for less than $1000 and a reconditioned one that size for around $600. (Compare this to the 21” Apple CRT Cinema Display my wife and I bought 5 years ago for about $1000 —these you can now buy for as low as $29 on eBay–plus shipping which will cost you more than the used display if you can’t go pick it up!)
So, given these current pricing trends these enormous screens will hit price points in about 2 to 3 years where it would make sense for AEC and MFG firms to start buying these for use by designers, not just for big group reviews (they are already buying very large screen projection systems now) and in about 5-7 years where people will start buying them for use in their homes.
Unless of course 3D-holographic projection technology leapfrogs in which case it will be a boon for furniture companies as everyone rushes to reconfigure their living rooms as we all start interacting with real time 3D ‘theater in-the-round’.