Touch Screen Technology – Where Did It Come From?
Touch screens can be found everywhere in today’s modern world from the cash machine at the local super market to the smart phones and mp3 players that we carry around with us every day! The technology seems to have come from nowhere, so where exactly did it come from??
It’s been around that long?!
Some of us may not remember a time when touch screens were only the stuff of fantasy, or part of a Hollywood movie, but being 31 years young I remember the harder times when we didn’t even have wireless devices like a computer mouse, a keyboard or even when our computer monitors had nothing but a ‘green screen’….now it seems that any and all brand new gadgets have a touchscreen of some description, so that left me wondering, who invented them and when??
It may surprise you to learn that the concept was invented way back in the swinging 60’s by a British inventor named E.A. Johnson whilst working at the Royal Radar Establishment in Malvern, England. Johnson developed the concept for use in air traffic control and invented a prototype of the technology. He later published several articles between 1965 – 1968 with detailed diagrams and photographs showing how it worked including a study of its huge potential.
A brief history
1970’s – During the 1970’s many talented inventors worked on new versions of touch screen technologies based on E.A. Johnson’s ideas, but it was Dr Sam Hurst a teacher at the University of Kentucky, who developed the first device incorporating resistive technology (using a screen and finger method) that most modern touch screens are based on today called the ‘Elograph’.
1980’s – 1990’s – Throughout the 80’s and 90’s many companies such as Siemens, Hewlett Packard and IBM started to introduce touch screens into devices like home pc’s and PDA devices. However due to the high cost of developing touch screens, these devices were often very expensive and didn’t really become popular.
2000’s – Although companies like HP introduced many gadgets like their range of Touch Smart pc’s, it wasn’t until 2007 when Apple released their must have device, the iPhone that touch screen technology really took off!
When technology improves and becomes much cheaper to develop it becomes much more main stream. Touch screen technology has been around for a very long time and now most new gadgets include it.
As our next generations are born, they’ll know nothing else…in fact my niece has become so used to Apple’s invention of a screen flick gesture to scroll through images on my iPad, or a pinch gesture to zoom, that just the other day I caught her trying to pinch zoom on a book and looking puzzled at why it wasn’t working!…..So that leaves me wondering, what’s the next step??
Touch screen everywhere – Before long touch screens will be everywhere; in our windows, in our mirrors, in our car dashboards maybe even on product packages like cereal boxes….you’d have to travel far and wide to get away from a touch screen!
Touch screens you can feel – As we speak, inventors are developing ‘haptic’ touchscreens that deliver feedback to your fingers and create the sensation of physical buttons.
No need to touch – Could touchscreens become redundant with the advent of things such as Microsoft Kinect? Some believe that screens of the future will incorporate a camera and operate using only hand gestures or the tracking of eye movement.
Whatever the future of touch screens may be, the technology is definitely here to stay and technology is improving quickly….In fact I thinking my next article may be; Artificial intelligence – I for one welcome our robot overlords!
Stuart Deavall is one of the earliest members at Toner Giant and is their Web & Digital marketing Manager. He ensures the website offers a huge range of toner cartridges to all customers A fan of keep fit, technology and design.