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By Michael Vizard

InFocus has unveiled a 55-inch touch-screen PC intended for use in environments where the need to collaborate is essential or where the application is being deployed in a kiosk environment. It ships with the Windows 8 Professional operating system.

The BigTouch system is an all-in-one PC that can be deployed in conference rooms, classrooms and places such as malls, where digital signage is used to convey information to customers, according to Heidi Kayser, corporate marketing manager for InFocus. She noted that a touch-enabled application environment is more user friendly than most existing collaboration and kiosk systems.

“People can now use Windows 8 to access SkyDrive in the cloud by using Windows 8 to share files between their systems and BigTouch,” Kayser added.

BigTouch is based on a 1080p display attached to an all-in-one PC system, which runs on an Intel i5 processor configured to support Intel vPro management software. It also includes support for two -gigabit Ethernet ports, WiFi, two HDMI ports and six USB ports, as well as a 120GB solid-state hard drive.

That approach, Kayser said, allows solution providers to upgrade the PC system in the future without having to replace the entire display.

While the reception of Windows 8 has been lukewarm in corporate environments, there are niche applications in which a touch-screen environment running standard Windows applications makes a lot of sense. In fact, InFocus helped pioneer the large-screen PC space with the introduction of InFocus Mondopad, a 55-inch display based on Windows 7.

At a time when the margins associated with selling traditional PCs are negligible, Kayser pointed out that a high-margin offering such as BigTouch complements a traditional PC sale, while having a significant positive impact for the solution provider’s bottom line.

Pricing for the BigTouch starts at $4,999.