If you’re lamenting the demise of the dedicated Lemur display and multi-touch controller – since reincarnated as an iPad app – you might be intrigued by the Emulator. Like the Lemur, the Emulator uses a modular array of touch controls, with more than a casual nod at JazzMutant’s original. Here, though, the touch display is embedded in display hardware. (The vendor provides basically custom software and systems integration; unlike JazzMutant, they’re using off-the-shelf display and touch hardware, though that could actually be a good thing in the long run.)

Most amusingly, you get wooden end caps on this. They’ve even appended “1974” to the name. It’ll be perfect for the Enterprise bridge I’m building in my living room with shag carpeting and lava lamps.

Glass (“chemically-strengthened” — possibly Gorilla Glass or similar), with projected capacitive touch
4 touch points
“Less than 4 ms latency” reported under Windows 8 and Mac OS X
1920 x 1080 display, 22″ (55.8 cm)
15-pin analog, Display Port inputs (via adapter – not sure if you get an actual digital in)
17.5 lbs (7.9 kg)

You can make your own control layouts, or use included ones built for use with Traktor DJ or Ableton Live.

No pricing info yet; shipping February. Updated: Preorder pricing is US$2495. (Thanks, Jeff!) Given the relatively low cost of multi-touch displays, that sounds to me a bit steep, if in line with former Lemur pricing.

Now, of course, because this uses commercially-available displays, you could roll your own similar solution. Linux and Windows 8 are adding multi-touch features that work with these kinds of displays. Basically, what SmithsonMartin sells is an integrated solution with their own software.

But that itself is a potentially-fruitful avenue. We’ll see if they can connect with a market on this, and if anyone else gets in the same game. (I can tell you, I’d be tempted to stick a computer underneath that display and build something all-in-one.

More information:

And yes, the obligatory promo video: