Fox News Deck More Like Space Bridge With 55-Inch Touchscreen Desks And 38 Ft Video Wall

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News Posted: Tue, Oct 8 2013 1:15 PM
Fox News is trying to bring TV news further into the digital age, where news runs 24/7 and updates are up-to-the-second, with its ambitious “Fox News Deck”. Comprised of a small sea of 55-inch touchscreen machines (called “BATS”, for “big area touchscreens”) and a 38-foot video wall, the whole brightly-lit setup looks like the deck of a spaceship.

The set is for Shepard Smith’s new show “Shepard Smith Reporting”, which will air at 3pm eastern and run into the evening. Conceived by Roger Ailes, the Fox News Deck allows workers at the BATS to pull in and organize news from across a variety of platforms--and they’ll be on camera the whole time. (Why would you spend big bucks to outfit your newsroom with 55-inch touchscreen desks and not put them on camera?)

Fox News Deck Shepard Smith

The BATS screens can be put on TV at any time, and Smith also has a remote control of sorts that lets him manipulate the 38-foot video wall, clicking and dragging items on it to and fro in real time from all the items the BATS people are working on. In a sense, Smith gets his own customized and curated newsfeed to work with.

Also note that the 55-inch BATS appear to be running Windows 8. (And are we the only ones who think the worker bees look like tiny people using giant iPads?)

Here’s a video tour:



Fox thinks that this sort of setup will become the norm. There is something to that; news comes fast and furious these days, and indeed it comes via a number of avenues. Keeping it all straight is a huge task, and sifting through it will take a team of people and easy-to-use but nice-to-display technology. Whether or not Fox ends up with a perfect idea here or just a prototype for how things might go someday, it’s an interesting endeavor.
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The people sitting in front of their touchscreens are almost dwarfed by them. *Very* swank.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Oct 8 2013 2:04 PM

Agreed. Though I'm skeptical of their actual practicality in use and the every day work flow. I mean they look cool but someone has got to get the urge to sit down and bang away at a traditional keyboard at some point.

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acarzt replied on Tue, Oct 8 2013 2:30 PM

Dave, I don't k now if you noticed, but they also have normal keyboards sitting in front of the screens.

I think this is pretty cool. I need this in my house!

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Oct 8 2013 3:46 PM

Ahh... didn't see that acarzt. Good catch! Hmm... it does all look cool and yes, I want it down in my man cave too!

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I give salute to Windows 8 for being so powerful, not just because the OS can run up to 16 terabytes of hard drive, can run 8 large monitors simultaneously and can not match even the most extreme processor avilable on the market today but because the OS even make the OS haters very8x sick.

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I suspect that using a 55" interactive display at that distance would actually be cumbersome to work with for the individual user but I'm guessing they went with that size for camera reasons. The video wall is very cool and I like the tweet wall. I'd be interested in finding out more about the software behind this system.

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Inspector replied on Tue, Oct 8 2013 10:15 PM

"(Why would you spend big bucks to outfit your newsroom with 5-inch touchscreen desks and not put them on camera?) "

Cause it would be a shame to work on a 5 inch touchscreen desk xD

This is really cool, and i do agree with diggity, having a 55" screen like two foot from your face is cumbersome. I would be dizzy using such a big screen that close. But i think they have their reasons for such a big screen, they do have a lot of information to work with so the more space they have the better.

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Adrian8 replied on Wed, Oct 9 2013 2:21 AM

It‘s amazing!but look what I find:http://tabler.tv/mtitouchscreen.html

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Cool, but even cooler would've been to superimpose behind Shep a virtual, information hub similar to the all white systems control hub depicted at Zion in The Matrix. The technology is here now with all of the gesture capture devices that are available. Though in real life, the people working the screens would be sitting in front of regular, large flat screens with borders and stands, the borders and stands could be edited out in real time, and the displays could be made slightly transparent, appearing to float in front of the news sifters. The 3D positional information of the workers and the displays could be acquired in real time, so the transparency of any particular display could be adjusted as desired to bring more focus and clarity, or it could be zoomed in on as necessary. This would be a relative snap to do with one or more Kinect 2s and a bit of software.

Such a virtual news gathering / presentation environment would give more of an impression of knowledge workers truly working in the cloud, part of cyberspace, embedded in the information flow.

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Oct 14 2013 2:06 PM

There is also an 82 inch version of this from a company Microsoft bought a few years back called Perceptive Pixel.

I saw one of these in a conference room once it really gets folks attention. 

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