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ARM Innovation Hub
3 July, 2006 - 14:33 By Staff Reporter

Expansion at Cambridge 'window-shopping' company

Worldwide demand for its interactive touchscreen technology has fueled physical expansion at Cambridge based company Visual Planet.Worldwide demand for its interactive touchscreen technology has fueled physical expansion at Cambridge based company Visual Planet.

The company is moving to a 6,000 sq ft manufacturing facility which, it says, will facilitate further research and development of new products and also provide space for a specially designed demonstration area to showcase them. Visual says it was keen to stay in the city where it started 4 years ago, now has over 30 touch screen re-sellers across 17 different countries, with 50 per cent of business coming from outside the UK.Visual Planet, which has now outgrown its base at the world-famous St John's Innovation Centre produces a range of touchscreen and interactive signage products for clients in the corporate and public sectors.Creator of Visual Planet, Vernon Spencer, formerly head of product development at internet pioneer, UUNET based his venture on the potential he saw of bringing the internet to the high street through touch sensitive shop windows, allowing customers to access information on products even after closing hours. Commercial director Mike Cole, a colleague of Spencer’s at Pipex, said "Our touch screen technology is being integrated by our resellers into an array of different displays and applications, ranging from interactive glass, rear projection screens, LCD monitors and even interactive tables and walls.

"Europe remains our most popular market, but recently we've seen a huge rise in orders from the US, Singapore, Korea and Australia."

The unique ability of Visual Planet’s touch technology to work though non metalised materials without requiring any external components, has made this product ideal for applications such as thru-window displays and large touch screens for reception displays. ?Since starting up four years ago, Visual Planet have seen the market for their innovate products mature, as companies have woken up to the idea of becoming ‘interactive’ and improving the impact of their displays. ?“As television goes digital and people can choose what to watch, advertisers will need to look for new ways to promote their products. We see a huge growth in interactive solutions which enable marketers to gain feedback from their potential customers and tailor their promotions accordingly.” Continues Cole. ?As well as moving premises, Visual Planet has also taken on new production and sales staff to exploit the increasing interest in their products – the newest of which is the world’s first 100-inch reusable touch-screen ‘foil’. ?“The foil can be rolled up and is easy to deliver worldwide. It’s then very easy to apply to a window or other non-metallic surfaces – giving you a huge space to reach your customers. The touch-screen works through the glass, so customers can use it at any time. It could really breath new life into high-streets at night” Visual Planet's new offices are at 77 Shelford Road, Trumpington Cambridge.??

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