San Jose, California-based Cornerstone Imaging Inc is hoping to see its high performance large screen monitors, traditionally used for document imaging applications, gain far wider acceptance on the desktop and eventually enter the high volume commodity market. The company has recently launched its 19 Color 45/101 sf, which takes up about the same space as a 17 monitor, but which it claims will give users enormously increased productivity due to a variety of factors. Cornerstone claims firstly, the extra screen size enables users sensibly to use multiple windows at one time, which cuts down on time spent toggling between windows in time-sensitive applications such as call centers and banking. Secondly, the new 19 screen delivers extremely high resolution, 1600 by 1200, with very fast refresh rates of more than 80 Herz. This, according to studies carried out by the University of California at Berkeley, increases reading speeds by up to 33%, and reduces physical symptoms such as eye strain and headaches by up to 66%. The company’s senior vice president and general manager of the display products division Ken Westrick, says many large corporations in the US are already using 17 screens instead of 15as standard on the desktop, and the company claims a 19 screen is actually 50% bigger than a 15 screen. The screen also includes Cornerstone’s new SuperFocus technology, which adds lenses to the electron gun to reduce the eliptical shape of the spot of light in order to minimize fuzziness round the edges of the screen. It also has a high contrast coating on the glass, to produce a sharper image quality. Cornerstone also has a new high-end 21 monitor, the Color 50/115sf and a mid range 21, the Color 50/101sf. The monitors are manufactured in Japan by Hitachi Ltd, whose subsidiary Hitachi Data Systems is a direct competitor to Cornerstone.
Health and safety
Although the 19 model has a street price of around $1,300, the company believes increasing legislation on employee health and safety, as well as proven productivity gains, will convince more companies to buy the larger screens for any user whose job involves sitting in front of a monitor for most of the day. In 1993/94, $4m was paid out in California alone in compensation to sufferers of disorders caused by computer displays, and Cornerstone believes this will be an increasing trend around the world. 15% of its sales today are from the UK, where the company has just won a major contract with the Halifax Building Society. As well as the screens, the company produces its own video controller, which it says is responsible for the high performance and refresh rates of the screens. It also offers two software products. The first is Input Accel, which converts documents to electronic images using recognized industry quality checking. Input Accel is an open standard compatible with a wide variety of scanner products, and forms and imaging applications. The second is a tool set for applications providers, to enable them to incorporate and manipulate and display images in their applications. Westrick says people tend to focus on buying high speed networks, servers, personal computers and applications, but they do not optimize them because they will then use a 15 monitor. He says Cornerstone’s monitors are optimized for business applications, and the company is now actively marketing direct to end users. Westrick believes it will not be too long before the 19 screen becomes a standard for many applications.