Touch screens have been around for longer than you think. These days, when people think of touch screens, they tend to think of the popular consumer products, such as smartphones and tablets, which are now widely available. However, you have been using touch screen technology since long before those devices entered the mainstream, and these types of screens have been critical to the advancement of the businesses that use them.
Generally, technology historians say that the foundation for touch technology started with the music industry, with touch-sensitive synthesizers. These were developed in 1948, starting with Hugh Le Caine’s Electronic Sackbut. This device involved the use of 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.
Fast forward several years to 1965, the application of this touch technology to screens began with the E. A Johnson Touch Screen. This screen originated out of England’s Royal Radar Establishment, and was a basic version of the touchscreen technology that eventually went on to emerge in ATMs and customer service kiosks of all types.
The first widely-known and used touch screen is credited to the University of Illinois, which developed the PLATO IV terminal in 1972. The school had been developing a series of educational computer systems throughout the 60’s, 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.
In 1982, touch screens took another leap forward with the introduction of multi-touch technology. The original method for accomplishing this involved using 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 involved enabling people to manipulate computer graphics using their fingers.
The technology continued to evolve through the 80’s and 90’s, with the introduction of the keyboard and mouse, and the Simon Personal Communicator Phone in 1993, which included a pen-based sketchpad. Eventually, in 2007, use of touch screen technology in consumer devices became popular, leading to the surge in popularity we have been experiencing through the present day.
While modest, the first devices in those early days paved the way for touch screens as we know them today, and were the forerunners of the ShadowSense technology that Baanto is now able to offer.