Touchscreen technology is literally bringing the world to our fingertips. In this 3 Part series we are going to explore a bit more about the History of Touchscreens (Part I), how the technology works (Part II) and then look into the future to see how Touchscreens are shaping up to become an even bigger part of our lives (Part III).
HISTORY: Touchscreen technology has been around for longer than you might think! Even though we tend to consider it a new technology, it has been around for 50 years or more.
1948: Looking back in time, the technology historians say that the foundation for touch technology started with the music industry, with touch-sensitive synthesizers. Hugh Le Caine’s Electronic Sackbut used a piano keyboard and a control board, and people playing the instrument could use touch to control the volume via pressure on the keys, while also changing the texture options for the music via the control board.
1965: The first finger driven touchscreens were invented by EA Johnson. A screen was developed in the UK by the Royal Radar Establishment which paved the way as a basic version of the touchscreen technology that eventually went on to emerge in ATMs and customer service kiosks of all types.
1972: The University of Illinois created the first widely-known and used touchscreen known as the PLATO IV terminal. This was a follow on from educational computer systems and this particular system utilized an infrared touch panel, which students would use to answer questions. The system was used throughout the State in many Illinois classrooms.
1982: Multi-touch technology was introduced involving the use of a video camera that was able to interface with a computer. The concept was later put into use in screens in 1984, and its first uses enabled people to manipulate computer graphics using their fingers.
1983: Hewlett Packard invented the first computer touchscreen.
1993: The first touchscreen phone was released by IBM and BellSouth - the Simon Personal Communicator Phone, which included a pen-based sketchpad.
2011: Microsoft and Samsung introduce PixelSense technology in which an infra-red backlight reflects light back to sensors that convert it to an electronic signal and the Tablet, as we now know them, was born.
The rest as they say is history!
QUICK FACTS: Statistics for 2014 reveal that 1.4 billion smartphones are in use, 6% of the global population owns a tablet and over 22% own a smartphone. Commercial take up of touchscreen technology is expanding at 40% p.a.
Part II coming soon ...