Back in 1996, I was introduced to technology called touch screens. This was a system where the user could press a screen button, and the screen would respond. The technology was actually very simple, nothing more then a wafer thin membrane of a matrix of wires. The wires were so fine as to be almost invisible, and the only downside was that the system only allowed for one touch at a time. The system has become very widespread, from the pub quiz machine where I first saw it, right down to my local supermarket till.
Those that have seen the film 'Minority Report' would have seen Tom Cruise manipulating images around the screen, which is a flat transparent panel in front of him. All very futuristic, and very impressive, but not very difficult to do in reality. I have a touch screen coming to me soon, and I plan on making a similar multipoint system but for a fraction of the budget. The end user would buy a screen much like the anti-glare screens on standard CRT monitors, and fix it into place. The screen would plug into the USB or serial port, and the user would load a driver into windows. Then away they would go.
The multipoint would allow for no more keyboards or mouses, the user's desk would become less cluttered, and I genuinely think that once it becomes mainstream, people will wonder how on earth we did it before. The video this week is of the unveiling early last year of the first multipoint touch screen, and then you might understand what I mean. Watch out for the application of the system when viewing google maps.
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