New Wall Display is Five Technologies in One

By Heather Baldwin

Remember the multifunctional kitchen tool of the 1980s that sliced, diced and cut umpteen different ways? 3M has basically taken that concept and applied it to meetings technology with the release of its Wall Display, an appliance that can serve as a television monitor, dry-erase board, multimedia projector, flipchart and digital whiteboard. It is the first time a single device has been able to meet all presentation display needs in a meeting room, says John Griffiths, product manager for Wall Display.

The product looks like a large, 60-in. television screen with a hinged arm holding the projector above it. To use it, presenters just connect the signal source to the unit, press the power button and voila – the image is displayed without any need to focus. The projector uses Texas Instruments’ Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology, but also incorporates a proprietary software and optic system that enables it to project a perfectly aligned, high-quality image, says Griffiths. Don’t need the projector? You can write and erase directly on the screen like a dry erase board, or write and capture your notes to a computer as you would with a digital whiteboard.

Also built into the digital whiteboard function is a net meeting capability, which enables two separate, remote locations to annotate and make changes to a document at the same time. So, say you were giving a PowerPoint presentation that showed your sales growing 15% next year, says Griffiths. “If the manager at the other end says: No, we want it to grow 20%, he can erase the 15% bar, plot in 20% and the first location will see it change in real time.” Additionally, you can use the Wall Display as a 60-in. video conferencing display, eliminating the need for a TV monitor. “Just hook up your video conferencing equipment and go,” says Griffiths.

The Wall Display is available in two versions. With full digital whiteboard capability, list price is $12,995. Without that capability, which means you can do everything except save and print information you write on the screen, the list price is $11,395.