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Small company set to make it big with multi-touch screens
OCTOBER 16, 2012 08:40  
In the Hollywood movie "Minority Report," detective John Anderton (Tom Cruise) touches a big screen and slides and moves files and photos.

In a high school class in Korea, four students solve math problems on an electronics board. They do not have to worry about chalk dust because they are working on a screen simultaneously.

Technologies that turn thought into reality will soon be commercialized. At the headquarters of Mirae Nano Tech in North Chungcheong Province, workers were producing large multi-touch screen panels Thursday. Despite adverse economic conditions, the company built a new plant and recently 200 more staff.

Mirae President Kim Cheol-yeong said, "The use of multi-touch technologies for large electronics boards will start next year. The government said it would inject 2.23 trillion won (1.98 billion U.S. dollars) by 2015 to promote smart education. Innovation will be brought to schools."

At the company`s plant, workers in white cleanroom garments make large multi touch-screen panels. In experimenting with a completed touch screen, all 10 fingers can be used to draw pictures and manipulate videos like movies.

Amid the explosive growth of smartphones and tablet PCs, touch technologies are also turning user-friendly by using infrared light. This method, however, makes coating difficult when the screen is large and thus cannot be applied on displays of 20 inches or larger.

Kim said, "We can overcome this via a capacitance method that enables touch recognition through a finger`s static electricity. This touch technology can be applied on multi-screens of 70 inches or larger."

With the pending launch of Microsoft`s new operating system Windows 8, demand for large touch-screen panels is increasing. Mirae workers are busier than ever. Many panel makers can produce multi-touch panels, but not large ones.

A leading global PC maker will release Oct. 26 a 21.5-inch, all-in-one PC with Mirae`s multi-touch technology. A Mirae source said, "Other leading PC makers are also asking about our large touch panels."

Established in 2002, Mirae saw 257.5 billion won (232 million dollars) in sales last year and is aiming for 600 billion won (540 million dollars) this year and 1 trillion won (900 million dollars) next year. CEO Kim said, "This is doable. Humax CEO Byun Dae-gyu reaped nearly 1 trillion won in sales 20 years after he started his company, becoming a legend in Korea`s venture industry. I will break his record after 11 years."

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