Touchscreen, Do you know the difference between your Smartphone and an old mobile phone? You might think about its storage capacity, memory, or size. That is true. However, if you ask us, the big difference would be the existence of a touch screen. Without this part, we would still be busy pressing the analog button to operate our phone. That’s annoying, isn’t it? So, how was this unique screen invented?
It was in the 1960s, when Eric Johnson, one of the members of the Royal Radar Establishment in Malvern, UK, created a touch screen design for air traffic control. He published his invention in a science journal in 1968.
Yes, before he invented this new technology, many similar devices used the touching sensor to operate. Back in 1946, Philco Company patented a stylus for sport telecasting. Then, there was Harmon, Leon D from AT&T. He created a device called an Electrographic transmitter. It was a screen capable of detecting the change of light on its surface. However, if we are talking about the touch screen operated by a finger, Eric Johnson was the one.
Johnson’s design was only a plan. Then, this technology attracted many companies to try it. Thus, in the 1970s, many of them try to use a similar concept for various purposes. For example, in 1971, Doctor Sam Hurst developed a touch sensor called Elograph, and was patented by The University of Kentucky Research Foundation. In 1974, Sam Hurst developed another Elograph, which uses a transparent surface. His first invention in 1971 didn’t use a transparent-type screen. Therefore, it was not suitable for a device.
Then, in 1977, Siemens Corporation applied the touch sensor developed by Sam Hurst to a curved glass screen. It was the product that called this feature the touchscreen. Later in 1994, they changed its name to Elo TouchSystems.
In 1983, Hewlett-Packard released the HP-150. It is a home computer that has touchscreen technology. Its monitor can detect the finger movement to operate its features. However, it uses an infrared sensor that often couldn’t work well because of dust. So, a regular cleaning was necessary.
A decade from the release of HP-150, in 1993, Apple used this technology on their mobile devices. Their Newton PDA has a handwriting recognition feature. In the same year, IBM released Simon. It has a touchscreen interface for dialing phone numbers. Then, the advanced touch screen technology appeared in 1996 on the PDA product by Palm, the Pilot series.
However, if we talked about when the boom of touch screen technology started, that would be the 2000s. It started with Microsoft launching the Windows XP Tablet Edition in 2002. It has a design that works optimally for touchscreen. Then, Apple launched the best Smartphone you ever found, iPhone that uses a full touch screen technology in 2007.
So, something simple like a touchscreen started way back then. It has gone through many changes and improvements that created the comfortable touch screen technology we used today. Now, we can operate everything without much problem.