ApplicationsTouch screens have become commonplace since the invention of the electronic touch interface in 1971. They have become familiar in retail settings, on point of sale systems, on appliances, on ATMs and on PDAs where a stylus is sometimes used to manipulate the GUI and to enter data. The popularity of smart phones, PDAs, portable game consoles and many types of information appliances is driving the demand for, and the acceptance of, touch screens.
Touch screens are popular in heavy industry and in other situations, such as museum displays or room automation, where keyboards and mice do not allow a satisfactory, intuitive, rapid, or accurate interaction by the user with the display's content.
Historically, the touch screen sensor and its accompanying controller-based firmware have been made available by a wide array of after-market system integrators and not by display, chip or motherboard manufacturers. With time, however, display manufacturers and System On Chip (SOC) manufacturers worldwide have acknowledged the trend toward acceptance of touch screens as a highly desirable user interface component and have begun to integrate touch screen functionality into the fundamental design of their products.