3M has always had a strong tradition of research and development. How else can a single company produce components for notebooks and smartphones, abrasives for the aerospace industry, Post-Its, Scotch Brite, and much more? At an event held in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District, we were exposed to what the boffins at 3M have been cooking up in their labs over the past months.
First off the production lines at 3M are new Multi-Touch Displays intended for use in the commercial sector, similar to the Samsung SUR40 released a while back. Although a variety of screen sizes will be offered to the market, only the 18.5-inch M1866PW and the 21.5-inch M2167PW were unveiled at the event. They join the ranks which already include older models such as the M2256PW. The 18.5-inch M1866PW offers a HD resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels while the 21.5-inch M2167PW is capable of showing images in Full-HD.
Both the Multi-Touch Displays support 20 simultaneous touches with a response time of 6 milliseconds, while the larger counterparts were stated to be capable of handling 40 simultaneous touches with a response time of 10 milliseconds. When put to the test, we found the devices to respond in a snappy and prompt manner to any input command. Due to 3M’s proprietary anti-stiction surface treatment of the glass, our fingers glided across the screen with relative ease.
The Multi-Touch Displays are also equipped with dual 3W speakers, making them a complete solution for those looking to add an interactive element to their business ventures. Optimized for Windows 7 which supports multi-touch functionality, the new devices can still be feasibly used by older operating systems. The rudimentary applications we got a chance to test out, mostly displaying how the new 3M displays handled multiple inputs, coded using Snowflake.
Available in the market right now, the 185-inch M1866PW is priced at S$1560 while the 21.5-inch M2167PW is going for S$1890.
3M’s history with the pocket projector is well known. Way back in 2008, they were one of the first to create a pocket projector in the shape of the 3M MPro110 Pico Projector. They have kept up their efforts and have been working hard to refresh their offerings in this particular market segment. Introduced first at CES 2012, the MP410 Mobile Projector is now the finished article.
The projector is neatly packaged in a 4-inch by 4-inch body, but is still capable of displaying a 60-inch screen at a distance of 2m. The lamp has a brightness of 300 lumens and an impressive 20,000 hour life. This means you will probably upgrade to a newer model before the need to chuck the MP410 arises. The device also has 1GB of on-board memory which can be supplemented via the use of microSD cards. Also part of the parcel is a 1W speaker which can come in handy if you do not feel like lugging speakers along for your presentations.
We had an opportunity to test out the MP410. While the surroundings were not completely dark, the pocket projector was able to cast a sufficiently bright image. The 1W speakers, however, were nowhere near powerful enough to drown out the ambient noise of the attendants busily having their lunch. The 3M MP410 Projector will be priced at S$800 and would be available in the coming months.
Having made their mark with their Kano Delighter Post-It, 3M knows a thing or two about design. They have now turned their focus to the HDMI cable, introducing one which is completely flat with gold plated connectors. The Flat HDMI cable is capable of being bent or twisted without any loss of signal. This should definitely help clean up those messy jungle of cables found behind home theater system. Available in 1m, 2m, and 4m the Flat HDMI cable will be launched in the second quarter of 2012.
A product aimed at Apple users, 3M also introduced new Privacy Filters for the Macbook Air. Seeing that there is no more bevel for notebook bezels, 3M has come up with a clear adhesive that is also able to withstand washing. This adhesive comes in the form of strips which can be used to hold the Privacy Filters in place. The Privacy Filter itself reduces the viewing angle of the screen to 30 degrees making it hard to view content displayed unless you are facing the screen directly.