TOUCH SCREEN TECHNOLOGY AND THE SKIN MULTITOUCH FILM
Touch Screen History
Touch screens have been around for nearly 50 years. One of the first commercial touch screen computer was the HP-150 from 1983. Before widespread use on mobile devices, touch screens were common in the medical field and ATMs. The first mobile phone with a touchscreen was introduced by IBM in 1996.
Displax Skin Multitouch
Displax is a Portuguese company that created the Skin Multitouch, a thin touch screen film that can be adhered to a flat surface like a table or a window. Sizes range from 30” to 100” and can be used in all kinds of lighting conditions, including direct sunlight. The Skin Multitouch has 10 digit and 20 digit recognition models. The XTR-Pressure technology of the Skin Multitouch is pressure sensitive.
How does the Skin Multitouch work?
The Skin Multitouch is a projected capacitive touchscreen. A capacitive touchscreen panel consists of an insulator (such as glass), coated with a transparent conductor (such as indium tin oxide (ITO)). As the human body is also an electrical conductor, touching the surface of the screen results in a distortion of the screen’s electrostatic field, measurable as a change in capacitance. The Skin Multitouch film is placed on a glass surface and the other side of the glass becomes a touch screen.
The Skin Multitouch does not yet enjoy wide use and exposure, but ideal situations for the technology are museums and interactive art installations. The Skin Multitouch could also be used for visual presentations by architects and other professions reliant on images.
Potential Problems of Skin Multitouch
The current association of touch screens is with personal devices intended for use and viewing by one person only. The Skin Multitouch creates public touch screens, a novel concept that may not catch on. Also the Skin Multitouch is very expensive, with the 30’’ model costing just over
$2,500 according to a 2013 price sheet. The 100” model cost over $10,000. Also, the process of adhesion is not as easy as “stick and go” and the adhesive requires 24 hours to dry.
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