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Input Devices

+ - Why Did Touch Take Four Decades to Catch On? 1

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "You probably saw media coverage of Bill Gates showing off touch-screen technology to his CEO play group last week. With the introduction of the iPhone and iPod Touch, touch (and multi-touch) technology — which folks like Ray Ozzie enjoyed as undergrads way back in the early '70s — has finally gone mainstream. The only question is: Why did it take four decades for its overnight success? Some suggest the expiration of significant patents filed during '70s and '80s may have had something to do with it — anything else?"
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Why Did Touch Take Four Decades to Catch On?

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  • My first experience with 'touch' was about 1979, when I was an 'Industrial Electronics' technician. We were to evaluate the possibility of using touch screens in a factory environment. This was a dirty, hot, gritty, greasy environment, where keyboard failures were the order of the day. 'Touch' terminals seemed like a way to bypass the keyboard problem.

    We set up three terminals in a training room, and brought worker bees in at intervals to observe how well they adapted to 'touch'. Within two hours every term

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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