During the Election coverage the internet came alive with stories about CNN’s Hologram reporters. But what really grabbed my attention was the “Magic Wall” developed by Perceptive Pixel.

Here at the Bexar County District courthouse they have upgraded 4 courtrooms to include all the latest A/V equipment, which includes a plasma TV that the Magic Wall makes looks primitive.

The systems are designed and implemented by the great folks at William & Mary Law’s Courtroom 21 project. While in trial a few months ago the lead engineer stopped me and asked for my opinion, as I use the system on a regular basis.

My biggest complaint? They opted for a 50″ plasma TV instead of a projector. While I agree it’s more much aesthetically pleasing (and the courtrooms are absolutely beautiful), it’s too small to display documents due to Sanction and Trial Director supporting 4:3 viewing ratio and not 16:9, which all flat screen TV’s display in. But there is one great ability these screens provide.. the ability to “electronically” mark on them.

Since the TV is placed directly behind the witness box, experts can markup any document or graphic that I put on the screen. This really is a great feature, and the “Magic Wall” takes this philosophy 100 steps forward.

Adding a Magic Wall would make courtroom presentations much more interactive. For example, if you were trying a car wreck case, you could load a live feed of google maps and let the attorney or expert zoom in and fly around the accident scene, adding and moving the cars in question. While SA Legal includes google maps animations in our presentations on a regular basis, they are not dynamic, it’s a set animation which we cannot easily edit once we are in trial. This would not be the case if using a Magic Wall.

Like all the new technology, as of now, we can’t get our hands on one the price tag of $100,000 is far too expensive. But maybe someday soon I’ll be dragging one of these into the courtroom rather than our typical Projector and Screen setup!