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Big screen.

A huge touchscreen measuring more than 43 square feet has been built at the University of Dundee by computing researchers.

The Analysis Wall developed at the university in Scotland, can be used to plot the path of a debate, separating the arguments in real time and allowing onsite and online participants to make contributions at the same time.

The wall can remove much of the distinction between, for example, a television or radio studio debate and the resulting discussion and commentary that it prompts online, said Chris Reed, the computing professor who led the team that built the wall.

A team of analysts and stenographers can quickly place each comment made in the debate onto the screen and then arrange them in different patterns, structuring comments and new threads of discussion, Reed said.

The wall can also be used in intelligence analysis, criminal investigations, or in plotting the path of a political debate, he added.

"Some tasks are simply not suited to being divided up among many people who quietly work on their own part of the picture," Reed said. "Wherever you have complex, highly connected webs of reasoning you need a big shared work space. If you add in time pressures, nothing beats the direct, physical manipulation that a touch screen offers."

This section was written by Associate Editor Jean Thilmany.

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Title Annotation:COMPUTING
Author:Thilmany, Jean
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2012
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