Some innovations that boast intuitive touch screen technology, like The Wow Computer, redefine critical life phases through avenues like aging-in-place assistive technology. Others change the way we experience and interact with our devices.
Touchscreen technology has become a common feature of twenty-first-century existence. We tap away at our phones, order our food at restaurants, and even renew our licenses using tactile tech that was unimaginable just a few decades ago.
Touchscreen technology has become a cornerstone of our technological existence. It’s no surprise that it is constantly updated and improved. Here are six of the most important current trends in touchscreen technology.
Haptic technology, sometimes referred to as 3D touch or kinaesthetic communication, involves a device emitting tactile stimuli to the user. In other words, these screens engage the user’s sense of touch by stimulating nerve endings.
The upcoming TeslaTouch from Disney Research is an excellent example of the use of haptics. This technology replicates tactile sensations like sandpaper to differentiate between sections of the touchscreen.
One of the drawbacks of touchscreen technology is its lack of flexibility. Phone and tablet screens need to be large enough to make the touchscreen useful, yet the more surface area, the more unwieldy and fragile the device becomes.
OLED displays are a solution to this problem. These screens are foldable, making them both more portable and durable. This technology is already available in gaming systems like the Nintendo Switch and will soon debut in mobile phones and tablets.
Generally, current touch screens only respond to one touch at a time. You can only use one finger or stylus for most functions.
Multi-touch technology allows a touchscreen to recognize and respond to more than one point of contact at a time. This functionality opens the door to many new touch commands, including pinch-to-zoom, additional controls, and gesture-based subroutines.
Touchscreen kiosks have become a common feature of everyday life for most people. However, with the advent of COVID-19, many have become wary of laying hands on high-traffic surfaces.
In response to this heightened awareness of germs and virus transmission, many designers are looking into the possibility of touch-free kiosks. These kiosks would respond to gestures and voice commands rather than physical contact.
Self-capacitance touch screens
Self-capacitance touch screens are another trending technology. These screens use electrodes to measure capacitance (stored electrical charges) at the intersections of their sensors.
Self-capacitance devices place these electrodes in a grid that responds to any touch that interrupts the electrical flow by pinpointing its location.
Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW)
Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) is another technology touching the ceiling of human creativity. This technology emits a sound wave across the screen that can identify the areas of the screen as a user touches them.
While touchscreen technology has already changed the way we experience the world in myriad ways, it’s far from the end of its evolution. This sector of the tech market will continue to rise a touch above the rest.