Touch Screen Monitors
Advancement of Touch Screen Displays
Touch screen monitors were initially used in point-of-sale (POS) terminals, kiosk systems, ATM’s and on PDA’s. The ever-expanding popularity of smart phones using Android and iOS operating systems, tablets, GPS systems and gaming consules are increasing the demand for touch screen technologies.
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
Touch screen displays are very easy to figure out and most people will learn how to interact with them very quickly. The learning curve is very short. A recently hired employee no longer has to go through lengthy training sessions and can be found effortlessly using an intuitive touch display within a few hours.
The technology developed by faytech North America brings significant time savings to point of sale systems in any retail establishment. The faytech touch solutions simplify most transactions. The employee – or the customer – interacts with the screen, reviewing the potential options and makes a selection.
No bar coding required
Products that cannot be bar coded, like perishable items, for example, or things that are small or with irregular surfaces that would hinder barcoding can now be easily processed through a point of sale with a touch display.
Also, using touch monitors means that customers can make buying decisions without the help of employees.
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.