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A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an
information processing system An information processor or information processing system, as its name suggests, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea ...
. The display is often an
LCD A liquid-crystal display (LCD) is a flat-panel display A flat-panel display (FPD) is an electronic display device s, LED display and Vacuum fluorescent display, VF display, top to bottom. A display device is an output device for presentation ...

LCD
,
AMOLED AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, ) is a type of OLED display device technology. OLED describes a specific type of thin-film-display technology in which organic compounds form the electroluminescence, electroluminescent materia ...

AMOLED
or
OLED An organic light-emitting diode (OLED or organic LED), also known as organic electroluminescent (organic EL) diode, is a light-emitting diode A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor A semiconductor material has an Electr ...
display while the system is usually a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. A user can give input or control the information processing system through simple or
multi-touch In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithm of an algorithm (Euclid's algorithm) for calculating the greatest commo ...
gestures by touching the screen with a special
stylus A stylus (plural styli or styluses) is a writing utensil A writing implement or writing instrument is an object used to produce writing. Writing consists of different figures, lines, and or forms. Most of these items can be also used for othe ...
or one or more fingers. Some touchscreens use ordinary or specially coated gloves to work while others may only work using a special stylus or pen. The user can use the touchscreen to react to what is displayed and, if the software allows, to control how it is displayed; for example, zooming to increase the text size. The touchscreen enables the user to interact directly with what is displayed, rather than using a
mouse A mouse, plural mice, is a small mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which ...

mouse
,
touchpad A touchpad or trackpad is a pointing device featuring a tactile sensor, a specialized surface that can translate the motion and position of a user's fingers to a relative position on the operating system that is made output to the screen. Touchpa ...

touchpad
, or other such devices (other than a stylus, which is optional for most modern touchscreens). Touchscreens are common in devices such as
game consoles A video game console is an electronic or computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as C ...
,
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s,
electronic voting machine A voting machine is a machine used to record or tally votes. The first voting machines were mechanical but it is increasingly more common to use electronic voting machines. Traditionally, a voting machine has been defined by its mechanism, and w ...
s, and
point-of-sale The point of sale (POS) or point of purchase (POP) is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed. At the point of sale, the merchant calculates the amount owed by the customer, indicates that amount, may prepare an invoice for t ...
(POS) systems. They can also be attached to computers or, as terminals, to networks. They play a prominent role in the design of digital appliances such as
personal digital assistant#REDIRECT Personal digital assistant The Palm TX A personal digital assistant (PDA), also known as a handheld PC, is a variety mobile device which functions as a personal information manager. PDAs have been mostly displaced by the widesprea ...
s (PDAs) and some
e-reader An e-reader, also called an e-book reader or e-book device, is a Mobile computing, mobile electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital e-books and Periodical literature, periodicals. Any device that can displa ...

e-reader
s. Touchscreens are also important in educational settings such as classrooms or on college campuses. The popularity of smartphones, tablets, and many types of
information appliance A Newton PDA An information appliance (IA) is an appliance that is designed to easily perform a specific electronic function such as playing music, photography Photography is the art, application, and practice of creating durable images by ...
s is driving the demand and acceptance of common touchscreens for portable and functional electronics. Touchscreens are found in the medical field,
heavy industry Heavy industry is an industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics) In macroeconomics, an industry is a branch of an economy that produces a closely related set of raw materials, goods, or services. For example, one ...
,
automated teller machine An automated teller machine (ATM) or cash machine (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergo ...
s (ATMs), and kiosks such as museum displays or
room automation Building automation is the automatic centralized control of a building's HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), electrical, lighting Lighting or illumination is the deliberate use of light Light or visible light is electro ...
, where
keyboard
keyboard
and
mouse A mouse, plural mice, is a small mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which ...
systems do not allow a suitably intuitive, rapid, or accurate interaction by the user with the display's content. Historically, the touchscreen sensor and its accompanying controller-based
firmware In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and soft ...
have been made available by a wide array of after-market
system integrator A systems integrator (or system integrator) is a person or company that specializes in bringing together component subsystems into a whole and ensuring that those subsystems function together, a practice known as system integration. They also solv ...
s, and not by display, chip, or
motherboard A motherboard (also called mainboard, main circuit board, or mobo) is the main printed circuit board (PCB) in general-purpose computers and other expandable systems. It holds and allows communication between many of the crucial electronic compone ...

motherboard
manufacturers. Display manufacturers and chip manufacturers have acknowledged the trend toward acceptance of touchscreens as a
user interface In the industrial design Industrial design is a process of design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specificati ...
component and have begun to integrate touchscreens into the fundamental design of their products.


History

One predecessor of the modern touch screen includes stylus based systems. In 1946, a patent was filed by Philco Company for a stylus designed for sports telecasting which, when placed against an intermediate
cathode ray tube display A cathode-ray tube (CRT) is a vacuum tube A vacuum tube, electron tube, valve (British usage), or tube (North America), is a device that controls electric current An electric current is a stream of charged particles, such as electrons ...
(CRT) would amplify and add to the original signal. Effectively used for temporarily drawing arrows or circles onto a live television broadcast . Later inventions built upon this system to free telewriting styli from their mechanical bindings. By transcribing what a user draws onto a computer, it could be saved for future use . The first version of a touchscreen which operated independently of the light produced from the screen was patented by
AT&T Corporation AT&T Corporation, originally the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, is the subsidiary of AT&T Inc. that provides voice, video, data, and Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of i ...
. This touchscreen utilized a matrix of collimated lights shining orthogonally across the touch surface. When a beam is interrupted by a stylus, the
photodetectors Photodetectors, also called photosensors, are sensors of light or other electromagnetic radiation. A photo detector has a p–n junction that converts light photons into current. The absorbed photons make electron–hole pairs in the depletion ...
which no longer are receiving a signal can be used to determine where the interruption is. Later iterations of matrix based touchscreens built upon this by adding more emitters and detectors to improve resolution, pulsing emitters to improve optical
signal to noise ratio Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N) is a measure used in science and engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and ...
, and a nonorthogonal matrix to remove shadow readings when using multi-touch. The first finger driven touch screen was developed by Eric Johnson, of the
Royal Radar Establishment The Royal Radar Establishment was a research centre in Malvern, Worcestershire in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardi ...
, located in Malvern, England, described his work on capacitive touchscreens in a short article published in 1965 and then more fully—with photographs and diagrams—in an article published in 1967. The application of touch technology for air traffic control was described in an article published in 1968. Frank Beck and
Bent Stumpe Bent Stumpe (born 12 September, 1938, Copenhagen Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the most populous ...

Bent Stumpe
, engineers from
CERN The European Organization for Nuclear Research (french: Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire), known as CERN (; ; derived from the name ), is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laborat ...
(European Organization for Nuclear Research), developed a transparent touchscreen in the early 1970s, based on Stumpe's work at a television factory in the early 1960s. Then manufactured by CERN, and shortly after by industry partners, it was put to use in 1973. In the mid 1960s, another precursor of touchscreens, an ultrasonic-curtain-based pointing device in front of a terminal display, had been developed by a team around at
Telefunken Telefunken was a Germany, German radio and television apparatus company, founded in Berlin in 1903, as a joint venture of Siemens & Halske and the AEG, Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) (''General electricity company''). The name "Tele ...

Telefunken
for an air traffic control system. In 1970, this evolved into a device named "Touchinput-" ("touch input facility") for the SIG 50 terminal utilizing a conductively coated glass screen in front of the display. This was patented in 1971 and the patent was granted a couple of years later. The same team had already invented and marketed the mouse RKS 100-86 for the SIG 100-86 a couple of years earlier. In 1972, a group at the
University of Illinois The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I, Illinois, or colloquially the University of Illinois or UIUC) is a public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university in Illinois in the twin cities of Champaign ...
filed for a patent on an optical touchscreen that became a standard part of the
Magnavox Magnavox (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relatio ...
Plato IV Student Terminal and thousands were built for this purpose. These touchscreens had a crossed array of 16×16
infrared Infrared (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior ...

infrared
position sensors, each composed of an
LED An LED A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor A semiconductor material has an Electrical resistivity and conductivity, electrical conductivity value falling between that of a Electrical conductor, conductor, such as metallic ...
on one edge of the screen and a matched
phototransistor A photodiode is a semiconductor p-n junction device that converts light into an electric current, electrical current. The current is generated when photons are absorbed in the photodiode. Photodiodes may contain optical filters, built-in lenses, ...

phototransistor
on the other edge, all mounted in front of a monochrome
plasma displayA plasma display panel (PDP) is a type of flat panel display that uses small cells containing Plasma (physics), plasma: ionized gas that responds to electric fields. Plasma TVs were the first large (over 32 inches diagonal) flat panel displays to b ...

plasma display
panel. This arrangement could sense any fingertip-sized opaque object in close proximity to the screen. A similar touchscreen was used on the
HP-150 HP-150 (aka HP Touchscreen or HP 45611A) was a compact, powerful and innovative computer made by Hewlett-Packard The Hewlett-Packard Company, commonly shortened to Hewlett-Packard ( ) or HP, was an American multinational company hea ...

HP-150
starting in 1983. The HP 150 was one of the world's earliest commercial touchscreen computers. HP mounted their
infrared Infrared (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior ...

infrared
transmitter In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particle ...
s and receivers around the bezel of a 9-inch
Sony , commonly known as Sony and stylized as SONY, is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from mult ...

Sony
cathode ray tube (CRT). In 1977, an American company, Elographics – in partnership with Siemens – began work on developing a transparent implementation of an existing opaque touchpad technology, US patent  3,911,215, October 7, 1975, which had been developed by Elographics' founder George Samuel Hurst. The resulting resistive technology touch screen was first shown in 1982. That company, now called Elo Touch Solutions continues to operate today as a leading provider of interactive devices for business applications. In 1984,
Fujitsu is a Japanese Multinational corporation, multinational information and communications technology equipment and services corporation, established in 1935 and headquartered in Tokyo. Fujitsu is the world's sixth-largest Information technology, I ...

Fujitsu
released a touch pad for the Micro 16 to accommodate the complexity of
kanji are a set of logographic In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gest ...

kanji
characters, which were stored as tiled graphics. In 1985,
Sega is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a sovereign ...

Sega
released the Terebi Oekaki, also known as the Sega Graphic Board, for the
SG-1000 The is a home video game console A home video game console is a video game console A video game console is an electronic device that output Output may refer to: * The information produced by a computer, see Input/output In computi ...

SG-1000
video game console A video game console is an electronic device that output Output may refer to: * The information produced by a computer, see Input/output In computing, input/output (I/O, or informally io or IO) is the communication between an information pro ...
and
SC-3000 The is a home video game console A home video game console is a video game console that is designed to be connected to a display device, such as a television, and an external power source as to play video games. Home consoles are generally ...
home computer Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a s ...

home computer
. It consisted of a plastic pen and a plastic board with a transparent window where pen presses are detected. It was used primarily with a drawing software application. A graphic touch tablet was released for the Sega AI computer in 1986. Touch-sensitive control-display units (CDUs) were evaluated for commercial aircraft flight decks in the early 1980s. Initial research showed that a touch interface would reduce pilot workload as the crew could then select waypoints, functions and actions, rather than be "head down" typing latitudes, longitudes, and waypoint codes on a keyboard. An effective integration of this technology was aimed at helping flight crews maintain a high level of situational awareness of all major aspects of the vehicle operations including the flight path, the functioning of various aircraft systems, and moment-to-moment human interactions. In the early 1980s,
General Motors General Motors Company (GM) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinat ...

General Motors
tasked its
Delco Electronics Delco Electronics Corporation was the automotive electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle ...
division with a project aimed at replacing an automobile's non-essential functions (i.e. other than
throttle A throttle is the mechanism by which fluid flow In physics and engineering, fluid dynamics is a subdiscipline of fluid mechanics that describes the flow of fluids—liquids and gases. It has several subdisciplines, including ''aerodynamics'' ( ...

throttle
,
transmission Transmission may refer to: Science and technology * Power transmissionPower transmission is the movement of energy from its place of generation to a location where it is applied to perform useful Mechanical work, work. Power (physics), Power is d ...
,
braking A brake is a machine, mechanical device that inhibits motion by absorbing energy from a moving system. It is used for Acceleration, slowing or stopping a moving vehicle, wheel, axle, or to prevent its motion, most often accomplished by means of ...

braking
, and
steering Steering is a system of components, linkages, etc. that allows a vehicle to follow a desired course. An exception is the case of rail transport, by which rail tracks combined with railroad switches (also known as 'points' in British English) pr ...
) from mechanical or electro-mechanical systems with solid state alternatives wherever possible. The finished device was dubbed the ECC for "Electronic Control Center", a
digital computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These ...
and
software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * Computer program, a collection of instructions Music * I ...

software
control system hardwired to various
peripheral A peripheral or peripheral device is an auxiliary device used to put information into and get information out of the computer. The term peripheral device refers to all hardware components that are attached to a computer and are controlled by the co ...
sensors A sensor is a device that produces an output signal for the purpose of sensing of a physical phenomenon. In the broadest definition, a sensor is a device, module, machine, or subsystem that detects events or changes in its environment and se ...
,
servos In control engineering Control engineering or control systems engineering is an engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, ...

servos
,
solenoids A solenoid (,) is a type of electromagnet File:VFPt Solenoid correct2.svg, Magnetic field produced by a solenoid (coil of wire). This drawing shows a cross section through the center of the coil. The crosses are wires in which current is ...
,
antenna Antenna (pl. antennas or antennae) may refer to: Science and engineering * Antenna (radio), also known as an aerial, a transducer designed to transmit or receive electromagnetic (e.g., TV or radio) waves * Antennae Galaxies, the name of two col ...
and a
monochrome A monochromic image is composed of one color (or values In ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existe ...

monochrome
CRT touchscreen that functioned both as display and sole method of input. The ECC replaced the traditional mechanical
stereo File:Carsoundstereoshift.png, Time difference in a stereophonic recording of a car going past, 250px Stereophonic sound or, more commonly, stereo, is a method of sound reproduction that recreates a multi-directional, 3-dimensional audible per ...
, fan, heater and
air conditioner Air conditioning (also A/C, air conditioner) is the process of removing heat and controlling the humidity Humidity is the concentration of water vapour (99.9839 °C) , - , Boiling point , , - , specific gas constant , 461.5 ...
controls and displays, and was capable of providing very detailed and specific information about the vehicle's cumulative and current operating status in real time. The ECC was standard equipment on the 1985–1989
Buick Riviera The Buick Riviera is a personal luxury car that was marketed by Buick Buick () is a division of the American automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM). Started by automotive pioneer David Dunbar Buick, it was among the first American Brand ...
and later the 1988–1989
Buick Reatta The Buick Reatta is a low-volume transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive, two-door, two-seater grand tourer A grand tourer (GT) is a type of sports car that is designed for high speed and long-distance driving, due to a combination of perf ...

Buick Reatta
, but was unpopular with consumers—partly due to the
technophobia Technophobia (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mil ...
of some traditional
Buick Buick () is a division of the American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the U ...

Buick
customers, but mostly because of costly technical problems suffered by the ECC's touchscreen which would render climate control or stereo operation impossible.
Multi-touch In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithm of an algorithm (Euclid's algorithm) for calculating the greatest commo ...
technology began in 1982, when the
University of Toronto The University of Toronto (U of T or UToronto) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organ ...

University of Toronto
's Input Research Group developed the first human-input multi-touch system, using a frosted-glass panel with a camera placed behind the glass. In 1985, the University of Toronto group, including Bill Buxton, developed a multi-touch tablet that used capacitance rather than bulky camera-based optical sensing systems (see History of multi-touch). The first commercially available graphical
point-of-sale The point of sale (POS) or point of purchase (POP) is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed. At the point of sale, the merchant calculates the amount owed by the customer, indicates that amount, may prepare an invoice for t ...
(POS) software was demonstrated on the 16-bit
Atari 520ST The Atari ST is a line of home computer Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the f ...
color computer. It featured a color touchscreen widget-driven interface. The ViewTouch POS software was first shown by its developer, Gene Mosher, at the Atari Computer demonstration area of the Fall
COMDEX COMDEX (an abbreviation of COMputer Dealers' EXhibition) was a computer expo A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or trade exposition) is an exhibition organized so that companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality ...
expo in 1986. In 1987, Casio launched the pocket computer with a touchscreen consisting of a 4×4 matrix, resulting in 16 touch areas in its small LCD graphic screen. Touchscreens had a bad reputation of being imprecise until 1988. Most user-interface books would state that touchscreen selections were limited to targets larger than the average finger. At the time, selections were done in such a way that a target was selected as soon as the finger came over it, and the corresponding action was performed immediately. Errors were common, due to parallax or calibration problems, leading to user frustration. "Lift-off strategy" was introduced by researchers at the
University of Maryland Human–Computer Interaction Lab The Human–Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland, College Park is an academic research center specializing in the field of Human–computer interaction, human-computer interaction (HCI). Founded in 1983 by Ben Shneiderman, ...
(HCIL). As users touch the screen, feedback is provided as to what will be selected: users can adjust the position of the finger, and the action takes place only when the finger is lifted off the screen. This allowed the selection of small targets, down to a single pixel on a 640×480
Video Graphics Array Video Graphics Array (VGA) is a video display controller A video display controller or VDC (also regularly called display engine, display interface) is an integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also ...
(VGA) screen (a standard of that time). Sears et al. (1990) gave a review of academic research on single and multi-touch
human–computer interaction Human–computer interaction (HCI) is research in the design and the use of Computing, computer technology, which focuses on the Interface (computing), interfaces between people (user (computing), users) and computers. HCI researchers observe th ...
of the time, describing gestures such as rotating knobs, adjusting sliders, and swiping the screen to activate a switch (or a U-shaped gesture for a toggle switch). The HCIL team developed and studied small touchscreen keyboards (including a study that showed users could type at 25 on a touchscreen keyboard), aiding their introduction on mobile devices. They also designed and implemented multi-touch gestures such as selecting a range of a line, connecting objects, and a "tap-click" gesture to select while maintaining location with another finger. In 1990, HCIL demonstrated a touchscreen slider, which was later cited as prior art in the
lock screen A lock screen is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs ...
patent litigation between Apple and other touchscreen mobile phone vendors (in relation to ). In 1991–1992, the
Sun The Sun is the star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its own gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, nearest star to Earth is the Sun. Many othe ...
Star7 prototype
PDA PDA may refer to: Science and technology * Patron-driven acquisition, a mechanism for libraries to purchase books *Personal digital assistant, a mobile device * Photodiode array, a type of detector * Polydiacetylenes, a family of conducting polym ...
implemented a touchscreen with inertial scrolling. In 1993, IBM released the
IBM Simon The IBM Simon Personal Communicator (simply known as IBM Simon) is a handheld, touchscreen PDA The Palm TX A personal digital assistant (PDA), also known as a handheld PC, is a variety mobile device which functions as a personal inform ...
the first touchscreen phone. An early attempt at a
handheld game console A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console A video game console is an electronic device that output Output may refer to: * The information produced by a computer, see Input/out ...

handheld game console
with touchscreen was
Sega is a Japanese multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a sovereign ...

Sega
's intended successor to the
Game Gear The is an 8-bit fourth generation handheld game console released by Sega on October 6, 1990 in Japan, in April 1991 throughout North America and Europe, and during 1992 in Australia. The Game Gear primarily competed with Nintendo is ...
, though the device was ultimately shelved and never released due to the expensive cost of touchscreen technology in the early 1990s. The first
mobile phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

mobile phone
with a capacitive touchscreen was
LG Prada The LG KE850, also known as the LG Prada, is a touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual dis ...

LG Prada
released in May 2007 (which was before the first
iPhone {{Infobox information appliance , name = iPhone , logo = , image = , caption = The front face of an iPhone 13 Pro The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are smartphones designed and marketed by Apple Inc. They are the flagship smart ...
). Touchscreens would not be popularly used for video games until the release of the
Nintendo DS The is a handheld game console produced by Nintendo, released globally across 2004 and 2005. The DS, an initialism for "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen", introduced distinctive new features to handheld games: two LCD screens working in tand ...

Nintendo DS
in 2004. Until recently, most consumer touchscreens could only sense one point of contact at a time, and few have had the capability to sense how hard one is touching. This has changed with the commercialization of multi-touch technology, and the
Apple Watch Apple Watch is a line of smartwatch A smartwatch is a wearable computer in the form of a watch; modern smartwatches provide a local touchscreen interface for daily use, while an associated smartphone app provides for management and telemetry ...

Apple Watch
being released with a force-sensitive display in April 2015. In 2007, 93% of touchscreens shipped were resistive and only 4% were projected capacitance. In 2013, 3% of touchscreens shipped were resistive and 90% were projected capacitance.


Technologies

There are a variety of touchscreen technologies with different methods of sensing touch.


Resistive

A
resistive In electronics and electromagnetism, the electrical resistance of an object is a measure of its opposition to the flow of electric current. The Multiplicative inverse, reciprocal quantity is , and is the ease with which an electric current passe ...
touchscreen panel comprises several thin layers, the most important of which are two transparent electrically resistive layers facing each other with a thin gap between. The top layer (that which is touched) has a coating on the underside surface; just beneath it is a similar resistive layer on top of its substrate. One layer has conductive connections along its sides, the other along top and bottom. A voltage is applied to one layer and sensed by the other. When an object, such as a fingertip or stylus tip, presses down onto the outer surface, the two layers touch to become connected at that point. The panel then behaves as a pair of
voltage divider In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particles ...

voltage divider
s, one axis at a time. By rapidly switching between each layer, the position of pressure on the screen can be detected. Resistive touch is used in restaurants, factories and hospitals due to its high tolerance for liquids and contaminants. A major benefit of resistive-touch technology is its low cost. Additionally, as only sufficient pressure is necessary for the touch to be sensed, they may be used with gloves on, or by using anything rigid as a finger substitute. Disadvantages include the need to press down, and a risk of damage by sharp objects. Resistive touchscreens also suffer from poorer contrast, due to having additional reflections (i.e. glare) from the layers of material placed over the screen. This is the type of touchscreen that was used by Nintendo in the DS family, the 3DS family, and the
Wii U GamePad The Wii U GamePad is the standard game controller for Nintendo's Wii U home video game console. Incorporating traits from tablet computers, the GamePad has traditional input methods (such as buttons, dual analog sticks, and a D-pad), touchscreen c ...
.


Surface acoustic wave

Surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology uses waves that pass over the touchscreen panel. When the panel is touched, a portion of the wave is absorbed. The change in ultrasonic waves is processed by the
controller Controller may refer to: Occupations * Controller or financial controller, or in government accounting comptroller A comptroller is a management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a ...
to determine the position of the touch event. Surface acoustic wave touchscreen panels can be damaged by outside elements. Contaminants on the surface can also interfere with the functionality of the touchscreen. SAW devices have a wide range of applications, including delay lines, filters, correlators and DC to DC converters.


Capacitive

A capacitive touchscreen panel consists of an
insulator Insulator may refer to: * Insulator (electricity), a substance that resists electricity ** Pin insulator, a device that isolates a wire from a physical support such as a pin on a utility pole ** Strain insulator, a device that is designed to work i ...
, such as
glass Glass is a non- crystalline, often transparency and translucency, transparent amorphous solid, that has widespread practical, technological, and decorative use in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optics. Glass is most often formed by ...

glass
, coated with a transparent
conductor Conductor or conduction may refer to: Music * Conductor (music), a person who leads a musical ensemble like, for example, an orchestra. * Conductor (album), ''Conductor'' (album), an album by indie rock band The Comas * Conduction, a type of ...
, such as
indium tin oxideIndium tin oxide (ITO) is a ternary composition Ternary (from Latin ''ternarius'') is an adjective meaning "composed of three 3 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 3, three, or III may also refer to: * AD 3, the third year of the AD era * 3 BC, th ...
(ITO). As the human body is also an electrical conductor, touching the surface of the screen results in a distortion of the screen's
electrostatic Electrostatics is a branch of physics that studies electric charges at Rest (physics), rest (static electricity). Since classical antiquity, classical times, it has been known that some materials, such as amber, attract lightweight particles af ...
field, measurable as a change in
capacitance Capacitance is the ratio of the amount of stored on a to a difference in . There are two closely related notions of capacitance: ''self capacitance'' and ''mutual capacitance''. Any object that can be electrically charged exhibits ''self capa ...
. Different technologies may be used to determine the location of the touch. The location is then sent to the controller for processing. Touchscreens that use silver instead of ITO exist, as ITO causes several environmental problems due to the use of indium. The controller is typically a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)
application-specific integrated circuit An application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC ) is an integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit File:PExdcr01CJC.jpg, ...
(ASIC) chip, which in turn usually sends the signals to a CMOS
digital signal processor A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic i ...
(DSP) for processing. Unlike a
resistive touchscreen In electrical engineering Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electronics The field of electronics is a branch of ph ...
, some capacitive touchscreens cannot be used to detect a finger through electrically insulating material, such as gloves. This disadvantage especially affects usability in consumer electronics, such as touch tablet PCs and capacitive smartphones in cold weather when people may be wearing gloves. It can be overcome with a special capacitive stylus, or a special-application glove with an embroidered patch of conductive thread allowing electrical contact with the user's fingertip. A low-quality switching-mode power supply unit with an accordingly unstable, noisy
voltage Voltage, electric potential difference, electric pressure or electric tension is the difference in electric potential The electric potential (also called the ''electric field potential'', potential drop, the electrostatic potential) is the ...

voltage
may temporarily interfere with the precision, accuracy and sensitivity of capacitive touch screens. Some capacitive display manufacturers continue to develop thinner and more accurate touchscreens. Those for
mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets ...
s are now being produced with 'in-cell' technology, such as in Samsung's
Super AMOLED AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, ) is a type of OLED An organic light-emitting diode (OLED or organic LED), also known as organic electroluminescent (organic EL) diode, is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emiss ...

Super AMOLED
screens, that eliminates a layer by building the capacitors inside the display itself. This type of touchscreen reduces the visible distance between the user's finger and what the user is touching on the screen, reducing the thickness and weight of the display, which is desirable in
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
s. A simple parallel-plate capacitor has two conductors separated by a dielectric layer. Most of the energy in this system is concentrated directly between the plates. Some of the energy spills over into the area outside the plates, and the electric field lines associated with this effect are called fringing fields. Part of the challenge of making a practical capacitive sensor is to design a set of printed circuit traces which direct fringing fields into an active sensing area accessible to a user. A parallel-plate capacitor is not a good choice for such a sensor pattern. Placing a finger near fringing electric fields adds conductive surface area to the capacitive system. The additional charge storage capacity added by the finger is known as finger capacitance, or CF. The capacitance of the sensor without a finger present is known as parasitic capacitance, or CP.


Surface capacitance

In this basic technology, only one side of the insulator is coated with a conductive layer. A small voltage is applied to the layer, resulting in a uniform electrostatic field. When a conductor, such as a human finger, touches the uncoated surface, a capacitor is dynamically formed. The sensor's controller can determine the location of the touch indirectly from the change in the capacitance as measured from the four corners of the panel. As it has no moving parts, it is moderately durable but has limited resolution, is prone to false signals from parasitic
capacitive coupling Capacitive coupling A coupling is a device used to connect two shafts together at their ends for the purpose of transmitting power. The primary purpose of couplings is to join two pieces of rotating equipment while permitting some degree of mis ...
, and needs
calibration In measurement technology and metrology, calibration is the comparison of measurement values delivered by a device under test with those of a Standard (metrology), calibration standard of known accuracy. Such a standard could be another measuremen ...

calibration
during manufacture. It is therefore most often used in simple applications such as industrial controls and
kiosks Historically, a kiosk () was a small garden pavilion In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic ...
. Although some standard capacitance detection methods are projective, in the sense that they can be used to detect a finger through a non-conductive surface, they are very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature, which expand or contract the sensing plates, causing fluctuations in the capacitance of these plates. These fluctuations result in a lot of background noise, so a strong finger signal is required for accurate detection. This limits applications to those where the finger directly touches the sensing element or is sensed through a relatively thin non-conductive surface.


Projected capacitance

Projected capacitive touch (PCT; also PCAP) technology is a variant of capacitive touch technology but where sensitivity to touch, accuracy, resolution and speed of touch have been greatly improved by the use of a simple form of "Artificial Intelligence". This intelligent processing enables finger sensing to be projected, accurately and reliably, through very thick glass and even double glazing. Some modern PCT touch screens are composed of thousands of discrete keys, but most PCT touch screens are made of an x/y matrix of rows and columns of conductive material, layered on sheets of glass. This can be done either by
etching Etching is traditionally the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in Intaglio (printmaking), intaglio (incised) in the metal. In modern manufacturing, other chemicals may ...
a single conductive layer to form a grid pattern of
electrode An electrode is an electrical conductor In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, a ...

electrode
s, by etching two separate, perpendicular layers of conductive material with parallel lines or tracks to form a grid, or by forming an x/y grid of fine, insulation coated wires in a single layer . The number of fingers that can be detected simultaneously is determined by the number of cross-over points (x * y) . However, the number of cross-over points can be almost doubled by using a diagonal lattice layout, where, instead of x elements only ever crossing y elements, each conductive element crosses every other element . The conductive layer is often transparent, being made of
Indium tin oxideIndium tin oxide (ITO) is a ternary composition Ternary (from Latin ''ternarius'') is an adjective meaning "composed of three 3 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 3, three, or III may also refer to: * AD 3, the third year of the AD era * 3 BC, th ...
(ITO), a transparent electrical conductor. In some designs, voltage applied to this grid creates a uniform electrostatic field, which can be measured. When a conductive object, such as a finger, comes into contact with a PCT panel, it distorts the local electrostatic field at that point. This is measurable as a change in capacitance. If a finger bridges the gap between two of the "tracks", the charge field is further interrupted and detected by the controller. The capacitance can be changed and measured at every individual point on the grid. This system is able to accurately track touches. Due to the top layer of a PCT being glass, it is sturdier than less-expensive resistive touch technology. Unlike traditional capacitive touch technology, it is possible for a PCT system to sense a passive stylus or gloved finger. However, moisture on the surface of the panel, high humidity, or collected dust can interfere with performance. These environmental factors, however, are not a problem with 'fine wire' based touchscreens due to the fact that wire based touchscreens have a much lower 'parasitic' capacitance, and there is greater distance between neighbouring conductors. There are two types of PCT: mutual capacitance and self-capacitance.


=Mutual capacitance

= This is a common PCT approach, which makes use of the fact that most conductive objects are able to hold a charge if they are very close together. In mutual capacitive sensors, a capacitor is inherently formed by the row trace and column trace at each intersection of the grid. A 16×14 array, for example, would have 224 independent capacitors. A voltage is applied to the rows or columns. Bringing a finger or conductive stylus close to the surface of the sensor changes the local electrostatic field, which in turn reduces the mutual capacitance. The capacitance change at every individual point on the grid can be measured to accurately determine the touch location by measuring the voltage in the other axis. Mutual capacitance allows multi-touch operation where multiple fingers, palms or styli can be accurately tracked at the same time.


Self-capacitance

Self-capacitance sensors can have the same X-Y grid as mutual capacitance sensors, but the columns and rows operate independently. With self-capacitance, the capacitive load of a finger is measured on each column or row electrode by a current meter, or the change in frequency of an RC oscillator. A finger may be detected anywhere along the whole length of a row. If that finger is also detected by a column, then it can be assumed that the finger position is at the intersection of this row/column pair. This allows for the speedy and accurate detection of a single finger, but it causes some ambiguity if more than one finger is to be detected. Two fingers may have four possible detection positions, only two of which are true. However, by selectively de-sensitizing any touch-points in contention, conflicting results are easily eliminated. This enables "Self Capacitance" to be used for multi-touch operation. Alternatively, ambiguity can be avoided by applying a "de-sensitizing" signal to all but one of the columns . This leaves just a short section of any row sensitive to touch. By selecting a sequence of these sections along the row, it is possible to determine the accurate position of multiple fingers along that row. This process can then be repeated for all the other rows until the whole screen has been scanned. Self-capacitive touch screen layers are used on mobile phones such as the Sony Xperia Sola, the
Samsung Galaxy S4 The Samsung Galaxy S4 is an Android Android may refer to: Science and technology * Android (robot), a humanoid robot or synthetic organism designed to imitate a human * Android (operating system), Google's mobile operating system ** Android ( ...

Samsung Galaxy S4
, Galaxy Note 3,
Galaxy S5 The Samsung Galaxy S5 is an Android (operating system), Android-based smartphone unveiled, produced, released and marketed by Samsung Electronics as part of the Samsung Galaxy S series. Unveiled on 24 February 2014 at Mobile World Congress in Bar ...
, and . Self capacitance is far more sensitive than mutual capacitance and is mainly used for single touch, simple gesturing and proximity sensing where the finger does not even have to touch the glass surface. Mutual capacitance is mainly used for multitouch applications. Many touchscreen manufacturers use both self and mutual capacitance technologies in the same product, thereby combining their individual benefits.


Use of stylus on capacitive screens

Capacitive touchscreens do not necessarily need to be operated by a finger, but until recently the special styli required could be quite expensive to purchase. The cost of this technology has fallen greatly in recent years and capacitive styli are now widely available for a nominal charge, and often given away free with mobile accessories. These consist of an electrically conductive shaft with a soft conductive rubber tip, thereby resistively connecting the fingers to the tip of the stylus.


Infrared grid

An
infrared Infrared (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior ...

infrared
touchscreen uses an array of X-Y infrared
LED An LED A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor A semiconductor material has an Electrical resistivity and conductivity, electrical conductivity value falling between that of a Electrical conductor, conductor, such as metallic ...
and
photodetector Photodetectors, also called photosensors, are sensors A sensor is a device that produces an output signal for the purpose of sensing of a physical phenomenon. In the broadest definition, a sensor is a device, module, machine, or subsyste ...
pairs around the edges of the screen to detect a disruption in the pattern of LED beams. These LED beams cross each other in vertical and horizontal patterns. This helps the sensors pick up the exact location of the touch. A major benefit of such a system is that it can detect essentially any opaque object including a finger, gloved finger, stylus or pen. It is generally used in outdoor applications and POS systems that cannot rely on a conductor (such as a bare finger) to activate the touchscreen. Unlike capacitive touchscreens, infrared touchscreens do not require any patterning on the glass which increases durability and optical clarity of the overall system. Infrared touchscreens are sensitive to dirt and dust that can interfere with the infrared beams, and suffer from parallax in curved surfaces and accidental press when the user hovers a finger over the screen while searching for the item to be selected.


Infrared acrylic projection

A translucent acrylic sheet is used as a rear-projection screen to display information. The edges of the acrylic sheet are illuminated by infrared LEDs, and infrared cameras are focused on the back of the sheet. Objects placed on the sheet are detectable by the cameras. When the sheet is touched by the user, the deformation results in leakage of infrared light which peaks at the points of maximum pressure, indicating the user's touch location. Microsoft's PixelSense tablets use this technology.


Optical imaging

Optical touchscreens are a relatively modern development in touchscreen technology, in which two or more
image sensors An image sensor or imager is a sensor that detects and conveys information used to make an image. It does so by converting the variable attenuation of light waves (as they refraction, pass through or reflection (physics), reflect off objects) int ...
(such as
CMOS sensor An active-pixel sensor (APS) is an image sensor An image sensor or imager is a that detects and conveys information used to make an . It does so by converting the variable of light s (as they or objects) into , small bursts of that convey t ...
s) are placed around the edges (mostly the corners) of the screen. Infrared backlights are placed in the sensor’s field of view on the opposite side of the screen. A touch blocks some lights from the sensors, and the location and size of the touching object can be calculated (see
visual hull A visual hull is a geometric entity created by shape-from-silhouette 3D reconstruction technique introduced by A. Laurentini. This technique assumes the foreground object in an image can be Foreground detection, separated from the background. Un ...
). This technology is growing in popularity due to its scalability, versatility, and affordability for larger touchscreens.


Dispersive signal technology

Introduced in 2002 by , this system detects a touch by using sensors to measure the
piezoelectricity Piezoelectricity (, ) is the electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. Electric charge can be ''positive'' or ''negative'' (commonly carrie ...

piezoelectricity
in the glass. Complex algorithms interpret this information and provide the actual location of the touch. The technology is unaffected by dust and other outside elements, including scratches. Since there is no need for additional elements on screen, it also claims to provide excellent optical clarity. Any object can be used to generate touch events, including gloved fingers. A downside is that after the initial touch, the system cannot detect a motionless finger. However, for the same reason, resting objects do not disrupt touch recognition.


Acoustic pulse recognition

The key to this technology is that a touch at any one position on the surface generates a sound wave in the substrate which then produces a unique combined signal as measured by three or more tiny transducers attached to the edges of the touchscreen. The digitized signal is compared to a list corresponding to every position on the surface, determining the touch location. A moving touch is tracked by rapid repetition of this process. Extraneous and ambient sounds are ignored since they do not match any stored sound profile. The technology differs from other sound-based technologies by using a simple look-up method rather than expensive signal-processing hardware. As with the dispersive signal technology system, a motionless finger cannot be detected after the initial touch. However, for the same reason, the touch recognition is not disrupted by any resting objects. The technology was created by SoundTouch Ltd in the early 2000s, as described by the patent family EP1852772, and introduced to the market by
Tyco International Tyco International plc was a security systems A security alarm is a system designed to detect intrusion – such as unauthorized entry – into a building or other areas such as a home or school. Security alarms used in residential, commercia ...
's Elo division in 2006 as Acoustic Pulse Recognition. The touchscreen used by Elo is made of ordinary glass, giving good durability and optical clarity. The technology usually retains accuracy with scratches and dust on the screen. The technology is also well suited to displays that are physically larger.


Construction

There are several principal ways to build a touchscreen. The key goals are to recognize one or more fingers touching a display, to interpret the command that this represents, and to communicate the command to the appropriate application. In the resistive approach, which used to be the most popular technique, there are typically four layers: # Top polyester-coated layer with a transparent metallic-conductive coating on the bottom. # Adhesive spacer # Glass layer coated with a transparent metallic-conductive coating on the top # Adhesive layer on the backside of the glass for mounting. When a user touches the surface, the system records the change in the electric current that flows through the display. Dispersive-signal technology measures the
piezoelectric effect Piezoelectricity (, ) is the electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. Electric charge can be ''positive'' or ''negative'' (commonly carrie ...

piezoelectric effect
—the voltage generated when mechanical force is applied to a material—that occurs chemically when a strengthened glass substrate is touched. There are two infrared-based approaches. In one, an array of sensors detects a finger touching or almost touching the display, thereby interrupting infrared light beams projected over the screen. In the other, bottom-mounted record heat from screen touches. In each case, the system determines the intended command based on the controls showing on the screen at the time and the location of the touch.


Development

The development of multi-touch screens facilitated the tracking of more than one finger on the screen; thus, operations that require more than one finger are possible. These devices also allow multiple users to interact with the touchscreen simultaneously. With the growing use of touchscreens, the cost of touchscreen technology is routinely absorbed into the products that incorporate it and is nearly eliminated. Touchscreen technology has demonstrated reliability and is found in airplanes, automobiles, gaming consoles, machine control systems, appliances, and handheld display devices including cellphones; the touchscreen market for mobile devices was projected to produce US$5 billion by 2009. The ability to accurately point on the screen itself is also advancing with the emerging graphics tablet-screen hybrids.
Polyvinylidene fluoride Polyvinylidene fluoride or polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) is a highly non-reactive thermoplastic A thermoplastic, or thermosoftening plastic, is a plastic polymer material that becomes pliable or moldable at a certain elevated temperature and so ...

Polyvinylidene fluoride
(PVFD) plays a major role in this innovation due its high piezoelectric properties, which allow the tablet to sense pressure, making such things as digital painting behave more like paper and pencil. TapSense, announced in October 2011, allows touchscreens to distinguish what part of the hand was used for input, such as the fingertip, knuckle and fingernail. This could be used in a variety of ways, for example, to copy and paste, to capitalize letters, to activate different drawing modes, etc. A real practical integration between television-images and the functions of a normal modern PC could be an innovation in the near future: for example "all-live-information" on the internet about a film or the actors on video, a list of other music during a normal
video clip Video clips (or movie clips) are short clips of video or movie, usually part of a longer recording. The term is also more loosely used to mean any short video less than the length of a traditional television program. On the Internet With the s ...
of a song or news about a person.


Ergonomics and usage


Touchscreen enable

For touchscreens to be effective input devices, users must be able to accurately select targets and avoid accidental selection of adjacent targets. The design of touchscreen interfaces should reflect technical capabilities of the system,
ergonomics Human factors and ergonomics (commonly referred to as human factors) is the application of psychological and physiological principles to the engineering and design of products, processes, and systems. The goal of human factors is to reduce human ...
,
cognitive psychology Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of mental process Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intelle ...
and
human physiology The human body is the structure of a human being Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an ...

human physiology
. Guidelines for touchscreen designs were first developed in the 2021s, based on early research and actual use of older systems, typically using infrared grids—which were highly dependent on the size of the user's fingers. These guidelines are less relevant for the bulk of modern touch devices which use capacitive or resistive touch technology. From the mid-2000s, makers of
operating systems An operating system (OS) is system software System software is software designed to provide a platform for other software. Examples of system software include operating systems like macOS macOS (; previously Mac OS X and later ...
for
smartphones A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphones
have promulgated standards, but these vary between manufacturers, and allow for significant variation in size based on technology changes, so are unsuitable from a
human factors Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species ...
perspective. Much more important is the accuracy humans have in selecting targets with their finger or a pen stylus. The accuracy of user selection varies by position on the screen: users are most accurate at the center, less so at the left and right edges, and least accurate at the top edge and especially the bottom edge. The R95 accuracy (required radius for 95% target accuracy) varies from in the center to in the lower corners. Users are subconsciously aware of this, and take more time to select targets which are smaller or at the edges or corners of the touchscreen. This user inaccuracy is a result of
parallax Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent positionThe apparent place of an object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the ...

parallax
, visual acuity and the speed of the feedback loop between the eyes and fingers. The precision of the human finger alone is much, much higher than this, so when assistive technologies are provided—such as on-screen magnifiers—users can move their finger (once in contact with the screen) with precision as small as 0.1 mm (0.004 in).


Hand position, digit used and switching

Users of handheld and portable touchscreen devices hold them in a variety of ways, and routinely change their method of holding and selection to suit the position and type of input. There are four basic types of handheld interaction: * Holding at least in part with both hands, tapping with a single thumb * Holding with two hands and tapping with both thumbs * Holding with one hand, tapping with the finger (or rarely, thumb) of another hand * Holding the device in one hand, and tapping with the thumb from that same hand Use rates vary widely. While two-thumb tapping is encountered rarely (1–3%) for many general interactions, it is used for 41% of typing interaction. In addition, devices are often placed on surfaces (desks or tables) and tablets especially are used in stands. The user may point, select or gesture in these cases with their finger or thumb, and vary use of these methods.


Combined with haptics

Touchscreens are often used with haptic response systems. A common example of this technology is the vibratory feedback provided when a button on the touchscreen is tapped. Haptics are used to improve the user's experience with touchscreens by providing simulated tactile feedback, and can be designed to react immediately, partly countering on-screen response latency. Research from the
University of Glasgow The University of Glasgow (abbreviated as ''Glas.'' in Post-nominal letters, post-nominals; ) is a Public university, public research university in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded by papal bull in 1451, it is the List of oldest universities in continuous ...

University of Glasgow
(Brewster, Chohan, and Brown, 2007; and more recently Hogan) demonstrates that touchscreen users reduce input errors (by 20%), increase input speed (by 20%), and lower their cognitive load (by 40%) when touchscreens are combined with haptics or tactile feedback. On top of this, a study conducted in 2013 by Boston College explored the effects that touchscreens haptic stimulation had on triggering psychological ownership of a product. Their research concluded that a touchscreens ability to incorporate high amounts of haptic involvement resulted in customers feeling more endowment to the products they were designing or buying. The study also reported that consumers using a touchscreen were willing to accept a higher price point for the items they were purchasing.


Customer Service

Touchscreen technology has become integrated into many aspects of customer service industry in the 21st century. The restaurant industry is a good example of touchscreen implementation into this domain. Chain restaurants such as Taco Bell, Panera Bread, and McDonald's offer touchscreens as an option when customers are ordering items off the menu. While the addition of touchscreens is a development for this industry, customers may choose to bypass the touchscreen and order from a traditional cashier. To take this a step further, a restaurant in Bangalore has attempted to completely automate the ordering process. Customers sit down to a table embedded with touchscreens and order off an extensive menu. Once the order is placed it is sent electronically to the kitchen. These types of touchscreens fit under the Point of Sale (POS) systems mentioned in the lead section.


"Gorilla arm"

Extended use of gestural interfaces without the ability of the user to rest their arm is referred to as "gorilla arm". It can result in fatigue, and even repetitive stress injury when routinely used in a work setting. Certain early pen-based interfaces required the operator to work in this position for much of the workday. Allowing the user to rest their hand or arm on the input device or a frame around it is a solution for this in many contexts. This phenomenon is often cited as an example of movements to be minimized by proper ergonomic design. Unsupported touchscreens are still fairly common in applications such as
ATMsATMS may refer to * Advanced Traffic Management System for highways. * Advanced Train Management System for railways. * IBM Administrative Terminal System#ATMS, IBM's successor to ATS/360, {{disambiguation ...
and data kiosks, but are not an issue as the typical user only engages for brief and widely spaced periods.


Fingerprints

Touchscreens can suffer from the problem of fingerprints on the display. This can be mitigated by the use of materials with
optical coating An optical coating is one or more thin layers of material deposited on an optical component such as a lens A lens is a transmissive optical device that focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a ...
s designed to reduce the visible effects of fingerprint oils. Most modern smartphones have
oleophobicLipophobicity, also sometimes called lipophobia (from the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its ...
coatings, which lessen the amount of oil residue. Another option is to install a matte-finish anti-glare , which creates a slightly roughened surface that does not easily retain smudges.


Glove touch

Touchscreens do not work most of the time when the user wears gloves. The thickness of the glove and the material they are made of play a significant role on that and the ability of a touchscreen to pick up a touch.


See also

* Dual-touchscreen *
Pen computing Pen computing refers to any computer user-interface using a pen or stylus A stylus (plural styli or styluses) is a writing utensil A writing implement or writing instrument is an object used to produce writing. Writing consists of different f ...
*
Energy harvesting Energy harvesting (also known as power harvesting or energy scavenging or ambient power) is the process by which energy In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, ...
* Flexible keyboard * Gestural interface * Graphics tablet * Light pen * List of touch-solution manufacturers * Lock screen * Tablet computer * Touch switch * Touchscreen remote control *
Multi-touch In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithm of an algorithm (Euclid's algorithm) for calculating the greatest commo ...
* Omnitouch * Pointing device gesture * Sensacell * SixthSense *
Nintendo DS The is a handheld game console produced by Nintendo, released globally across 2004 and 2005. The DS, an initialism for "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen", introduced distinctive new features to handheld games: two LCD screens working in tand ...

Nintendo DS


References


Sources

* * * * *


External links

{{Authority control American inventions European inventions Touchscreens, Display devices