Touchscreen technology is everywhere and it’s just getting bigger every day. This interactive technology offers consumers a modern platform which allows them to say good bye to the keypad and hello to an innovative and compact technology products. A touchscreen is a screen that is sensitive to the touch of a finger or stylus and can be found in many things we use on a daily basis e. g. car navigation systems and portable had held devices such as cell phones.
It relies on sensors to pick up the location of a pointing device, whether it’s your fingertip or a stylus.
There are three components used in touch screen technology: * The touch sensor a panel with a touch responsive surface. Different types of sensors: resistive, surface acoustic wave, and capacitive. Sensors have an electrical current running through them and touching the screen causes a voltage change. The voltage change signals the location of the touching. * The controller, is the hardware that converts the voltage changes on the sensor into signals the computer or other device can receive.
Software tells the computer, smartphone etc, what is being done on the sensor and the information coming from the controller. Who’s touching what where; and allows the computer or smart phone to react accordingly. There are two (2) main types of touchscreen technologies, resistive and capacitive. Resistive technology employs narrowly separated layers of conductive material, usually glass and a plastic film that react to the location of the contact. The glass and plastic film are each covered with a grid of electrical conductors.
These can be made of a thin film of transparent conductor material. There are electrodes on the two layers run at right angles to each other (parallel conductors run in one direction on the glass sheet and at right angles to those on the plastic film). When you press down on the touch screen, contact is made between the grid on the glass and the grid on the film. The voltage of the circuit is measured, and the X and Y coordinates of the touch position is calculated based on the amount of resistance at the point of contact.
One advantage of resistive touchscreens is that they are relatively inexpensive to make. Another is that you can use almost anything to create an input signal: finger, fingernail, stylus. Resistive technology is also susceptible to problems over time, as over usages may cause components that make up the device to stop functioning. Capacitive technologies, on the other hand, take the principle behind resistive touchscreens and add precision. The surface of a capacitive touchscreen is electrically charged in the form of a clear conductive coating.
When contact is made, the charge from the fingertip is interrupted and a precise location is registered. Because there are no real moving parts (solid state), capacitive touchscreens last longer and are more durable than their resistive counterparts. A touchscreen depends on the natural electrical charge from your body to work and will not respond if a stylus is used because it does not carry a charge. The actual capacitive touchscreen comprises of a coating of anti-glare material, a transparent protective cover and a layer that does the actual touch sampling.
How It Works When you use a touchscreen, the effect appears instantaneous. This can be attributed to software. For even the simplest interaction with a touchscreen is a complicated process. First, the software must locate where you are on the screen before refining your position. This refinement looks for pressure points (not to be confused with resistive touchscreen technology), eliminates any noise surrounding the input (your finger) and then plots this data to a grid to calculate where it thinks you meant to touch the screen.
The device’s processor then relays this information to the application level of the software and finally displays the intended result on the display. This is all done in a split second. The Pros and Cons of Touchscreens The Pros: * Interactivity, simplified interface * Mobile devices benefit from versatility of touchscreen UI (user interface) * Resistive touchscreens support any pointing device The Cons: * Learning curve for gestures, keyboard typing awkward * Surface can become scratched or dirty, hampering performance * Capacitive touchscreens only support charged pointing devices (your finger)
Appendix Resistive Touchscreen Technology Resistive touchscreen technology employs narrowly separated layers of conductive material that react to the location of the contact. Capacitive Touchscreens Capacitive touchscreens use an electrostatic field to continuously sample the screen surface for movement and relays that information to a processor that can interpret it. A look at some touch screen devices throughout the years. The BBC’s Tomorrow’s World programme in 1982 featured a very early touch screen computer.
Unfortunately the exact model is unknown. In 1983, Hewlett Packard’s HP-150 was the first commercially available touch screen PC. The screen was fitted with a grid of infrared beams which were in place to detect finger movements across the screen; however the IR sensors often became clogged up with dust and dirt and required regular cleaning. In 1993, Apple was still leading the way in handheld devices with its Newton PDA. With handwriting recognition, it was years ahead of its time.
The device is commonly being sold on Internet auction sites for large prices. The first ever Smartphone was launched in 1993 with the IBM’s Simon. It featured a calendar, note pad and fax function. Users could enter their phone numbers using the touch screen interface. In 1996 the Palm took over the touch screen market for over ten years with its Pilot series. The company then expanded its products to Smartphone technology getting rid of its operating system in favour of Windows Mobile. The year 2000 saw the launch of Microsoft handheld ‘tablet’ devices.
Bill Gates, founder, saw the potential of the touch screen device and launched the product with the Windows XP Tablet edition in 2002. Not many people bought the tablet PC’s due to the high costs. 2004 saw the introduction or touch screen Smartphones which have grown in popularity over the years. Handsets such as Nokia’s Symbian handsets, Windows Mobile as well as the Sony Ericsson’s UIQ phones have all driven the touch screen technology forward. The launch of the Apple iPhone in 2007 hit the touch screen industry by storm.
There was a lot of work that needed to be done to the device for it to meet to people’s expectations however the sleek and sophisticated design proved to be an overall winner which left many other mobile phone manufacturers struggling to play catch up. 2008 saw the touch screen industry move for a more commercial than home use. The new interactive system adopted a multi touch surface which allowed many users to interact at the same time. And as we arrive into 2010 the iPad landed on our doorstep. The new multi-functional facility has received massive interest worldwide with 1 million units sold within a month of its launch.
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Cite this Touchscreen Technology Review
Touchscreen Technology Review. (2016, Sep 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/touchscreen-technology-review/