Computex: Touch Screen Gets Serious

The last year has certainly seen a huge increase in touch screen technology with regard to mobile devices. We’re already awaiting the launch of the second generation/3G iPhone which is rumoured to be set for release on the 9th of June at the WWDC and the first iPhone has seen success in many countries, expanding it’s reach with announcements of availability in new countries regularly appearing on the news wires.

Not only that, but you’ve also got the likes of Windows 7, a small portion of which was demonstrated by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer last week at the Wall Street Journal’s “All Things Digital” conference. This snippet of the next Window’s OS showed off multi-touch screen capabilities similar to what iPhone and iTouch users have been seeing for the last year or so. Add to that the less famous touch screen technology associated with handheld gaming devices like Nintendo’s DS and it makes for a busy year.

Word back from our boys in Taiwan say that touch screen technology has a definite presence at the show; this is a bandwagon everyone wants to be on and according to, touch screen technology is set to rise 9% by 2009. So how touchy feely is the market really going to get?

On one side you have the play-it-safe units like the mobile devices. Touch screen mobile devices are a lot easier to market, why have a keypad when you can tap the screen? Similarly touch screen tablets have been fairly successful. However, many people are of the opinion that the fact that tablets also come with a keyboard, do so for a very good reason. Some things are easier said and done with a keyboard and/or mouse. A mobile device, more often than not, offers a limited range of functions, a laptop, PC or tablet has significantly more, some of which would only be made more difficult by eliminating the keyboard, mouse or joystick. predicts smaller devices may lead the way into a price war due to the fact that the companies producing them are often just producing ‘me too’ items they know will sell. The larger easier to enter market means that while smaller touch screen devices sell like hot cakes, the companies producing them have weaker control over upstream materials, patents, and new technologies.

However, it would be an oversight to leave out the fact that there could be many benefits from the larger touch screen market for the likes of ATMs or similar. We’re already seeing the touch screen customer service points in retail branches so perhaps it would be wrong to say that large panels will not eventually see the same success as their smaller counterpart. One thing is for sure, the touch screen market is one to watch.

  • yadge
    I would definitely just rather use a mouse if it was possible when using my computer. It's just easier and more precise. I think touch screens are only useful when you are unable to have a mouse, such as with mobile devices and ATMs/whatever.
  • draxssab
    I think that touch screens are a good thing. Most people don't like them because we have used keyboard and mices SO much that now it's a bit tough to use a new input method.
    I own a DS and i really like the feeling it gives to play on a touch sceen, so with their evolution, i think i can only be better. It should also reduce the size of Laptops and gadgets (just look at the Ipod touch/Iphone)
  • blackened144
    yadge, I agree that the mouse would still be easier to navigate. I am also not too hot about the touch screen keyboard mobile devices, even if they are easier to market. I have used my friends iPhone enough to know that compared to my ATT 8525 with the slide out keyboard, the touch screen SUCKS!
  • chibiwings
    For hand held device i think Touch Sensitive technology can be quite useful, But I can'timaging using My Monitor in games
  • I use a touch-screen all day at work, it simplifies some of the options/menus to only the basics but thats all i need while im knee deep in electronic gear with tools all about and having a big keyboard around to use the test equipment would be just about too much.