Touch Screen Monitors
Advancement of Touch Screen Displays
Touch screen monitors were initially used in kiosk systems, POS terminals, ATM’s and on PDA’s. With raising popularity of smart phones, modern PDA’s, GPS’s and portable game consoles (most notably Nintendo’s DS), the demand for touch-screen technologies slowly increased.
Early touch screen displays could only sense a single point of input at a time and only a few of them were capable of detecting the strength of the pressure. This was changed with Apple’s ongoing commercialization of the multi-touch technology with iPhone and iPod touch.
Multi-touch touch screen technology allows the user to interact with the screen with fingers, instead of a stylus. The movement of fingers creates gestures, which are then sent to the software. The initial popularity of the iPhone, has brought touch technology to many smart phones and hand-held devices which paved the way for displays and all-in-one computer systems.
Companies are upgrading to touch monitors
faytech has realized that many companies have upgraded their products, either by adding multitouch support to the track-pad or by making their tablet PC’s interactable without using a stylus. Both wall mounted and table mounted displays have had a few ergonomic problems. “gorilla arm” was a side effect, that has limited wall-mounted displays as a mainstream. Developers of touch systems, failed to notice, that humans are not designed to hold their arms extended for long periods of time while making small and precise motions.
Table embedded displays do not share this problem, however, users can develop neck pain after using it for a period of time and the view might be obstructed by their arms.
High adoption of touch systems in the retail sector
Ever since their development in 1971, touchscreen monitors have been finding their way into more and more commercial applications. They come in any number of configurations, but in the end, they all function on the same principle and that is “see and touch”.
Fast food restaurants were one of the first businesses to implement these screens on a retail level but now more and more business are discovering the benefit of having them available at their point of sale locations.
How touch screen monitors work
Resistive touchscreen solutions by faytech North America
The resistive type uses a normal glass panel, that is covered by a resistive and a conductive metallic layer and a protective layer (scratch resistant) on top of all this. When you make contact with the screen, the two metallic layers are joined and the change in electrical field is detected. The circuit on the monitor then calculates the coordinates and transfer them to the screen software. The driver then transfers the information about the coordinates to the OS, in a form of events similar to mouse clicks and drags.
This system registers an event as soon the surfaces are joined. This means, you can use a finger, a pen or any other item as input.This also makes it most vulnerable to physical damage by sharp objects. The metallic layers only transmit about 75% of the light from the monitor, making its display clarity the lowest of the three.
Capacitive touch screen
With the capacitive type, a layer storing electrical charge, is placed on the monitor glass. When you make contact with the layer, a small amount of the electrical charge is transferred to you, decreasing the charge on the layer. Sensors, located at the corners of the monitor, detect a change in electrical charge levels and transfer the information to the software to process.
Capacitive vs resistive
The biggest advantage of capacitive type over resistive is that it has 90% light throughput. This gives the capacitive touch screen monitors a much clearer picture. Since this type of display uses electric charge to detect an event, you must use a conductive input, such as a finger.
Surface acoustic wave type
The surface acoustic wave type uses two transducers and a reflector, all placed on the monitor glass plate. One transducer is sending electrical signals to the other and the reflector reflects this signal. The receiving transducer is capable of detecting and locating any event. Since this type has no metallic layers placed on the display surface, they have 100% light throughput, and therefore the most clear picture. Similar to resistive, this type detects events by almost any object, except very small or hard items, such as a pen.
These are just the most commonly used types and we at faytech North America have our own unique touch solutions. There are many other touchscreen technologies out there, such as strain gauge configuration (from 1960’s) or relatively-modern optical imaging technology. And recently, new technologies have been developed such as sunlight readable monitors and rugged monitors that can withstand extreme environments.
Benefits of using touchscreen monitors
To begin with, they are now so simple to use that anyone can be taught how to use them in only a few minutes. This means that a new employee can be operating a touch screen on their first day. This, in turn, translates into savings on wages, because an employee need not possess specialized skills to occupy a position at a point of sale such as the front register.
Time savings is another element that the faytech North America technology brings to a POS in any retail establishment. Quite simply, they take the take the “thinking” process out of any transaction. Simply look and touch, and the transaction is done. Also, any pertinent information regarding merchandise is plainly visible on a touch desktop monitor.
No bar coding required
Any products that cannot be bar coded, such as perishable or items that are too small or have surfaces that hinder barcoding can now be quickly and easily processed through a point of sale with a monitor as well.
Also, using a touch monitor for customer means that customers can make selections on their own without the assistance of paid personnel.
The viability as an interaction tool for the retail establishment has been established for some time now and this is why more and more businesses everywhere are implementing them.
Another factor is that faytech touch displays have also become more affordable in recent years and they are a technology that isn’t going to become obsolete in this lifetime.