TOUCH SCREEN HISTORY
described his work on capacitive touch screens in a short article which is published in 1965 and then more fully—along with photographs and diagrams—in an article published in 1967. A description of the applicability of the touch technology for air traffic control was described in an article published in 1968.
Frank Beck and Bent Stump
e, engineers from CERN, developed a transparent touch screen in the early 1970s and it was manufactured by CERN and put to use in 1973. This touchscreen was based on Bent Stumpe's work at a television factory in the early 1960s.
A resistive touch screen
was developed by American inventor G. Samuel Hurst
who received US patent #3,911,215 on Oct. 7, 1975. The first version was produced in 1982.
From 1979 to 1985, the Fairlight CMI (and Fairlight CMI IIx) was a high-end musical sampling and re-synthesis workstation that utilized light pen technology, with which the user could allocate and manipulate sample and synthesis data, as well as access different menus within its OS by touching the screen with the light pen.
The later Fairlight series IIT models used a graphics tablet in place of the light pen.
The HP-150 from 1983 was one of the world's earliest commercial touchscreen computers. Similar to the PLATO IV system (1972), the touch technology used employed infrared transmitters and receivers mounted around the bezel of its 9" Sony Cathode Ray Tube (CRT), which detected the position of any non-transparent object on the screen.
In the early 1980s General Motors tasked its Delco Electronics division with a project aimed at replacing an automobile's non essential functions (i.e. other than throttle, transmission, braking and steering) from mechanical or electro-mechanical systems with solid state alternatives wherever possible. The finished device was dubbed the ECC for "Electronic Control Center", a digital computer and software control system hardwired to various peripheral sensors, servos, solenoids, antenna and a monochrome CRT touchscreen that functioned both as display and sole method of input.The EEC replaced the traditional mechanical stereo, fan, heater and air conditioner controls and displays, and was capable of providing very detailed and specific information about the vehicle's cumulative and current operating status in real time. The ECC was standard equipment on the 1985-1989 Buick Riviera and later the 1988-89 Buick Reatta, but was unpopular with consumers partly due to technophobia on behalf of some traditional Buick customers, but mostly because of costly to repair technical problems suffered by the ECC's touchscreen which being the sole access method, would render climate control or stereo operation impossible.
Multi-touch technology began in 1982, when the University of Toronto's Input Research Group developed the first human-input multi-touch system, using a frosted-glass panel with a camera placed behind the glass. In 1985, the University of Toronto group including Bill Buxton developed a multi-touch tablet that used capacitance rather than bulky camera-based optical sensing systems
In 1986 the first graphical point of sale software was demonstrated on the 16-bit Atari 520ST color computer. It featured a color touchscreen widget-driven interface.The ViewTouch point of sale software was first shown by its developer, Gene Mosher, at Fall Comdex, 1986, in Las Vegas, Nevada to visitors at the Atari Computer demonstration area and was the first commercially available POS system with a widget-driven color graphic touch screen interface.
Sears et al. (1990) gave a review of academic research on single and multi-touch human–computer interaction of the time, describing gestures such as rotating knobs, swiping the screen to activate a switch (or a U-shaped gesture for a toggle switch), and touchscreen keyboards (including a study that showed that users could type at 25 wpm for a touchscreen keyboard compared with 58 wpm for a standard keyboard); multitouch gestures such as selecting a range of a line, connecting objects, and a "tap-click" gesture to select while maintaining location with another finger are also described.
In ca. 1991-1992, the Sun Star7 prototype PDA implemented a touchscreen with inertial scrolling.
In 1993, the IBM Simon
- the first touchscreen phone
- was released.
An early attempt at a handheld game console with touchscreen controls was Sega's intended successor to the Game Gear, though the device was ultimately shelved and never released due to the expensive cost of touchscreen technology in the early 1990s.
Touchscreens would not be popularly used for video games until the release of the Nintendo DS in 2004. Until recently, most consumer touchscreens could only sense one point of contact at a time, and few have had the capability to sense how hard one is touching.
This has changed with the commercialization of multi-touch technology.