Touch, Touch, Touch!!! How often have you ever touched every day? Not at all? Five times? Ten times? Maybe you cannot live without touching. Think about touches you make when you withdraw money, when you borrow a book at the library, or when you use your cell phones. You use touching technology more often than you can imagine. In an SF film Minority Report starred with Tom Cruise, the protagonist uses all five fingers to control screens. This is 'Multi Touch Screen Technology'. We thought this would be futuristic technology but we will use it no longer than in six years.
1) What is Touch Screen?
A Chemistry Bioprocess Engineer professor Hong Seong Kyu says that touch screen is an indication technology where you press a finger or pen to your selection and then it reacts on the flow of electricity caused by the pressure change around the selection.
2) When did it start?
The touch screen technology has relatively a complicated history. This technology was invented in 1971, but it was in 1983 when it began to be used in reality. The first touch screen product was a computer 'HP-150' from Hewlett-Packard Development Company in 1983. When this computer came out, Bill Hewlett received an American national science prize, but touch screen computers were not popular at that time.
3) Touch Screen Technology's Strong and Weak Points.
Touch makes us think of a touch cell phone 'Haptic 2'. The DGU students at department of Information Technology say that 'Haptic 2' doesn't have buttons so you might not have button troubles and its design is very attractive. Professor Hong says that touch products don't need to have buttons so the freedom of product design is high. 'Haptic 2' uses decompression technology. It recognizes a press range between the liquid crystal and the touch panel. There might happen errors when inputs are not specific and when two compressions occur at the same time. Professor Hong says when you touch a special panel with your finger, it works because of the pressure of fingers. Anyhow the range of its limit is decided by the compression.
A student of Electrical Engineering at DGU uses a notebook computer 'Pavilion tx 1000' made by HP. He says that the computer is convenient for graphics, illustration and photoshop. You don't need a pen and paper. The series of 'Pavilion tx 1000' uses electromagnetic induction technology. It recognizes the electro-magnetic difference when the computer pen goes against the touch panel. This works only together with the computer pen. It is more accurate than decompression technology, so it gets popular to most expert illustrators. However, it is expensive and recognizes only the computer pen and doesn't work without it.
A student of Information Technology at DGU and user of 'SAMSUNG YEEP U3' says that touch technology is a suitable technology for MP3 because it is easy to control for searching files. MP3 uses static electricity technology. This technology charges the surface of the screen and has peripheral sensors. If you touch it, it senses a lose of electric charge identify and the location at contact. Therefore any conductor of electricity can operate it and a non-conductor will not work. This technology uses less pressure than other technologies, so it is likely to have less problems caused by users repeatedly. However it can operate unintentionally even by a very small electric stimulus because it is so sensitive.
The ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) and a library self-service lending machine use static electricity technology. A student of Management at DGU student says that it is convenient and isn't complicated because its buttons have letters and it has a large amount of space for practical use. Professor Hong says that it is easy to use interface because it doesn't require an input device like a keyboard. However, the student complained of recognition error and having to repeat his input of his personal identification number.
4) Why is the Touch Screen Popular?
It is popular because of its convenience in use, says professor Hong. For example, the Apple MP3 by Apple stores many music files with its large memory. It is not a push-button technology so it is easy to search files, select music and control the menu.
The trend goes not toward simple-compound function devices but towards multi-task function devices such as a multi-player. The simple-compound function processes several functions that are integrated but the multi-player is able to process several functions at once. As functions continue to vary, devices are becoming more complicated. The touch screen helps manage this trend.
For example, mobile devices are becoming smaller to increase portability. The changes at screen design and the variety of menu tell the touch screen will be very effective.
5) How about the Future at Touch Screen?
Professor Hong says that people are interested in convenience and ask research devices that decrease error and increase accuracy. Therefore the future of touch screen is bright. The touch screen is very suitable technology these days. Known as a brilliant innovator, Steve Jobs says that the touch screen is the best innovative interface next to the mouse. However, Professor Hong says that when speech recognition or brain waves recognition improve things will change. Therefore we must study various interfaces including the touch screen.
Choi Jung-Youn firstname.lastname@example.org
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