Friday, January 11, 2013

Skating to Where the Puck is Going

Celebrating the recent settlement of the National Hockey League labor dispute, we pay homage to Wayne "The Great" Gretsky's quote:  “Skate where the puck is going, not where it’s been”, this week we look at what courts could use from the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) show in Las Vegas.

Big Big Screens

Huge flat screen displays (60 and 80 inch and larger) were shown by all of the major manufacturers and the cost is coming down.  But in addition to being large, they are also being made with higher “4K” resolution (these aren’t the cheaper versions).  Larger resolution means more data can be shown on the screen in more detail.  Of course these screens would be very handy in the courtrooms to display picture, video, and document evidence to juries.  So if one is planning on new courtrooms or courtroom renovations in the next 2-4 years, one should seriously consider using these huge screens.

And one more thing; LG showed a “concept” 84 inch 4K “touch” screen.  A video showing how this works can be seen on this “The Verge” web page.
One could image in the future how these screens could be used to enhance new visitors to the courthouse by showing not only the courts schedule, but also possibly visually showing a short video showing how to get to the courtroom or jury assembly area.

Table (not Tablet!) Computing

Lenovo and 3M both showed touch enabled systems this year that are designed to work on a flat surface like a table.  The Lenovo solution ($999 USD) is a 27 inch All-In-One system that changes to a special interface when it is laid flat.  And as we have seen over the past year these All-in-one computers are being used as part of the e-Bench solutions.  3M also shows some monitors with the same capabilities in this online video.

So again, design of the next generation courtrooms should consider these approaches as they enable the judge to work electronically at their e-Bench while eliminating the “monitor barrier” that blocks the view.


CES and similar shows are notorious for showing technology that may be years in the future (if ever) coming to market.  One interesting technology standard to watch is call Miracast by the Wi-Fi Alliance.  As one might guess this is a wireless connection standard that will more easily allow devices like smartphones (and hopefully laptops and tables) to connect to large display screens.  Now devices like Apple TV already can do this proprietarily, but the possibility of an industry standard being built into many different products would again be very useful in the courtroom.


During a CES presentation by C-Net, technology entrepreneur Mark Cuban mentioned a company he has an investment in called Motionloft.  Motionloft makes data sensors that can count people (and other things) and provides data analytics to their clients on their “cloud” servers.   Courts could use these “counters” to learn about courthouse traffic patterns that in turn could be used to make calendar modifications, justify additional facilities, and address staffing levels and assignments.  It is something to consider in the future as courts are subject to increasing pressure to provide solid usage data to funders.

Luminae Quiet Touch Keyboard

And last, the show made us aware of the Luminae glass keyboard system.  This visually stunning interface provides another possibility to eliminate keyboard noise in the courtroom.  Definitely check out the C-Net article and the company's website to see it.

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