Era Of Touch Screens

Posted on January 26, 2010 in Sci-Tech

Sahiba Singh:

One touch and everyone is with you seems to be the mantra of our lives today. The touch technology has taken over our phones, computers and even banking system. With the rise in popularity, the cost of the technology has been coming down making it more affordable for people.

A touch screen monitor is normally found in displays that are used by the general public. Many people find pointing easier and quicker than using another type of input device and the monitors are harder to steal or damage. Photo kiosks have them to help people select and edit the photos they want to print. A touch screen monitor is often combined with an electronic cash register in stores and many automatic teller machines also have one. Industrial machines have them because they are less susceptible to damage from dust and debris. They are also used as interactive information kiosks at airports, railway stations, and other major places that tourists visit. “Touch screens are becoming widespread due to the ease of use and intuitive interfaces they enable, which can save time and increase productivity,” said Jennifer Colegrove, director of Display Technologies at Display Search.

Coming to the phone department, drastic changes have taken place since the iconic press conference of June 2007, when the iPhone was introduced to the world. iPhone fans may vouch for its style, features and navigation, but what made the phone truly trendsetting is its touch screen feature.

The day Steve Jobs announced that Apple’s first mobile device will have a touch screen; it became the hottest mobile feature, swinging the entire industry into action. Suddenly, touch screen became ‘the’ feature for all hot phones. All the mobile manufactures started creating their own smart phones with touch screens.

Samsung Corby has taken the lead in touch phones in India. It is strategically priced at Rs 12,000 (may vary with state) making it affordable for students and young professionals. With its vibrant colors and cool features it’s quite a steal!


In 1971, the first “touch sensor” was developed by Doctor Sam Hurst (founder of Elographics) while he was an instructor at the University of Kentucky. This sensor called the “Elograph” was patented by The University of Kentucky Research Foundation. The “Elograph” was not transparent like modern touch screens, however, it was a significant milestone in touch screen technology.

In 1974, the first true touch screen incorporating a transparent surface came on the scene developed by Sam Hurst and Elographics. In 1977, Elographics developed and patented five-wire resistive technology, the most popular touch screen technology in use today. On February 24, 1994, the company officially changed its name from Elographics to Elo Touch Systems.

Some of the notable products

Nokia 5800 Xpress Music

Dubbed as a mobile device for music lovers, the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music offers innovative features. This is Nokia’s attempt to offer the best music experience through a phone.

The device has variety of input methods: stylus, plectrum and finger touch support for text input and UI control (alphanumeric keypad, full and mini qwerty keyboard, handwriting recognition). You can use the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music to connect to mobile broadband using WLAN or HSDPA (3.5G). You can find directions and locations with the integrated A-GPS and included maps. It is priced at Rs 18,000.

Samsung Omnia

The Samsung Omnia is hailed as an ‘iPhone killer’. Omnia SGH-i900 has a full touchscreen which supports Windows Mobile Professional 6.1. Besides a TouchWiz UI, the Omnia offers an optical mouse.
The Samsung Omnia has Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Word. The PowerPoint feature allows you to show presentations directly on projectors from the phone. A 5MP camera along with a video camera adds to its sleek features. The 8GB version costs Rs 37,999 while the 16GB is priced at Rs 39,999.


The writer is a Delhi based correspondent at Youth Ki Awaaz