Today our world is filled with new technology that has changed the way the world functions. One of the biggest is the touch screen. Touch screen technology has changed the focus of our technological advances . We find them on ATMs, phones, MP3 devices, tablets, computers, as well as other kinds of technology. Many think the touch screen has only been around since 2006, when Apple released the first iPhone. The truth is, the touch screen has been around since 1965 but it has come a long way since then.
In 1965 the first touch screen was invented and used in British air trafficking towers. “This touch screen used touch technology similar to that found in today’s tablets, but could only read one touch at a time (NPR Timeline: A History of Touch).” England’s Royal Radar used the touch screen devices until 1995 when it was replaced by a screen similar to today’s ATMs.
Touch screens greatly improved with the development of multi-touch technology. A multi-touch screen is preferred because it follows multiple touches instead of a single touch at a time. Multi-touch technology was created in 1984 by Bob Boie of Bell Labs. “This touch screen used a transparent capacitive array of touch sensors overlaid on a CRT platform (Bill Buxton Multi-Touch system).” A CRT is a screen that was generally used for computers. In other words, you could find one on your grandma’s dinosaur computer or television. Despite the fact of it being made in 1984, the multi-touch screen was quite a success. The screen was responsive, clear, and allowed the user to manipulate graphic objects on the screen. The multi-touch screen is still in use today and can be found on almost every smart phone out there.
Many people believe the iPhone was the first smart phone but actually it really wasn’t. Simon, a product made by IBM and Bell South in 1992, was the grandfather of Smartphone’s. Simon was a phone that had a touch screen much like the iPhone. Simon could connect to the internet and download apps just like the iPhone, such as: calendars, calculators, and maps (Bill Buxton). One of the problems with Simon was the fact that it was a brick. Because of it’s size Simon was not comfortable to have in your pocket. It also had a poor battery life of about 60 to 30 minutes. “Simon sold only fifty thousand units at $899 a piece (Bloomberg Business Week)”. Because of size, poor battery life, and price the Simon had trouble, catching on and selling and was later discontinued.
One of the most influential inventions that helped mold the touch screen of today, was the 1992 Wacom from Japan. The Wacom was a pad with a mouse and stylus. The 1992 Wacom was part of the UD series, a line of digitizing tablets. The Wacom tablets had multi- point sensing capability (Bill Buxton). This means that the pad could sense the stylus and the mouse at the same time. The Wacom was mostly used for graphic designing.
In 2002, “GRT DSI Datotech introduced and demonstrated a multi-touch tablet called HandGear...