Tuesday, 17 October 2017

What is the future of Touchscreen Technology?

In 1967 E.A Johnson invented the first capacitive touchscreen console. Over the last 50 years, the technology has evolved to become the primary interface on most devices, most notably PCAP touch 
technology that is used on our smartphones. But where does the human machine interface go from here?

Future of touch screens

Touch Screen Technology - The Modern Way

Today we can perform numerous tasks on our smartphone from online banking, checking our health and even changing the temperature in our home. 

However, the most difficult thing we can’t do productively on our smartphone is writing. Any letter, in-depth composition or data entry develops into a nightmare of clumsily pecking at the virtual keys. Typing this way is unnatural and the touchscreen has a long way to go to enable life improving efficiency.

The key to fluent typing consists of 3 elements: touch input, orientation and confirmation. A traditional keyboard has all three to satisfy these criteria. Touch screens allow you to input information but lack the physicality of the keys. Missing these elements makes it difficult to get into any creative flow but two new technologies are now emerging.


Haptics and Microfluidics technology creates dynamic transparent tactile surfaces by pushing a solution through a material to define keyboard formations. It rises and recedes thereby giving a physicality of the keys. The addition of these two technologies provides the orientation and confirmation needed to enable full typing productivity.

We are already seeing mobile devices use Haptic and Microfluidics in defined positions. The next generation will allow the user to program a combination of these technologies. Keyboards could be adjusted in size and location and provide haptic feedback in any position and the microfluidics technology used to create a personalised keyboard for each user. For example changing the size of the icon to relate to their finger size and typing style. 

Moving further forward we will see haptics and microfluidics evolve together to include tactility and vibrations for more than just keyboards and buttons. Mapping and navigation are examples where you could see the varying contours with the haptic, giving various feedback on what you are doing by increasing the length and strength of the vibration. 

Users who are visually impaired could choose a braille option when manoeuvring around their touchscreen device or when writing without having to purchase a separate product.

The Connection

From the minute we are born, a connection through touch is acquired. This connection with each other spreads to our personalised technology and current developments will soon enable touchscreens to react in the same way by responding to every individual’s personal touch.

Find out how SCHURTER's world-class technology could be the ideal match for your business solutions today.

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