Touch Screens Everywhere: A Fantasy Or A Reality?
As the world’s technology begins to advance, technology is becoming more and more interactive. Smart technology is becoming more and more dominant, and is even a popular discussion topic. We take touch screens for granted, when years ago, they would have been just a dream.
Touch screens have been around a lot longer than people actually remember, but it wasn’t until Apple unveiled their products with a touch screen did they really begin to take off. Now you have many touch screen products on the market, and it’s becoming a natural part of life.
Of course, some people want to take this to the next level, and really make touch screen technology play an even bigger role in our lives. Some people believe touch screen technology would make our businesses more productive and unique.
It’s definitely an intriguing concept. For those of us who may have watched the Marvel movie series, we might remember seeing Tony Stark work with his computers almost anywhere he wanted. It might have just been a lot of CGI, but it was definitely what many of us thought the future would look like.
Of course, this wasn’t just in recent movies now. Science fiction has always been giving us dreams of a computer that can function entirely through voice and touch.
However, as many of us are beginning to see, despite the functionality that technology promises to bring, its actual usage is not always the ease and fun that we expected it to be.
That doesn’t mean touch screen technology isn’t going into our computers. But there are areas that we need to analyse before we think about having a society that is dominated by touch screen technology.
Why Does Touch Screen Technology Work?
Touch screen technology seems almost like a gimmick if you are used to older technology. But its speed and convenience is almost unparalleled.
On mobile devices, it was nearly impossible to have long conversations or messages passed through texting. The buttons we had to press were small and required multiple presses.
With the arrival of touch technology, you could easily type longer messages, make your messages more expressive, and have an easier time fixing mistakes.
This also allowed for your finger to take the place of a mouse on a phone, which let you make more precise selections AND not worry about ruining your screen, which was a very big problem at the time.
Being able to make selections easily provided users with more functionality and convenience. If we needed anything, instead of having to search through an entire menu that only scrolled up or down, we could swipe screens left and right, up or down, and even bring up our entire layout.
Not only that, applications could be accessed that allowed our phones to do a wide variety of things. Apple started us off by showing us what you could do with the iPhone. Then other companies jumped on the bandwagon and began showing us what a phone was capable of doing.
We had apps that could tell us the weather, give us access to games, and even open documents from computers. Touch technology has turned our mobile devices from a device we have in the event of an emergency into a device that has become essential to so many people.
It works because it feels like the future has been brought to us. It feels like technology has grown leaps and bounds. It feels easy and simple compared to the phones in the past.
Of course, there are many other reasons touch screen technology took off, but the futuristic feeling and the added functionality was a big part of the success.
Can We Bring That Out Of Mobile Devices?
The success of touch screen mobile technology actively encouraged companies to look at bringing touch screens to other areas of business. After all, the success was wonderful for smaller devices, why couldn’t we do the same for computers?
However, the way laptops and desktops worked, you were often better off using a mouse to make your selections than your finger. Also, typing on a mobile phone was terrible before and improved with touch technology. Typing with a keyboard was simple and effective before, and couldn’t be beaten by typing with your thumbs.
Also, computer screens couldn’t be fitted with the same glass that protects your mobile devices. If you think of the size of a computer monitor or laptop screen, it just wouldn’t be as cost efficient or effective. Tablets, however, are a suitable workaround for the problem (only for laptops though).
Computer screens weren’t meant to be touched, and they can’t withstand the pressure that your smartphone can handle. Yes, the occasional press isn’t going to ruin your screen, but it’s not good for it either. It wasn’t designed to handle constant pressing like a smartphone.
One might argue that because we have made tablets and hybrid laptops, touch screen technology can be in our offices and businesses. No one is saying that touch screen technology could not. But not every single applicable usage is going to be successful for businesses either.
For example, tablet typing is still ridiculously difficult. Windows Surface tablets used to have a keyboard that you could use as an attachment, but typing speeds on that keyboard were not as great as using an actual keyboard.
Signing documents on a touch screen will also never be perfect (due to different writing styles and pressures, as well as a touch pen being very imprecise), which means signatures for important documents can often end up looking even worse than your normal signature (which often looks nothing like your name anyway).
But Is It Practical?
Every technology has its learning bumps, and it’s always important to realize that the time spent ironing out all the wrinkles in technology is often worth the annoyances we have in the beginning.
Touch screen technology has already made its way into the hands of consumers, and the effects are very noticeable.
You have already seen it used in stores, as a payment method, and even as a selection menu at certain restaurants. Customers enjoy using touch screen technology as it is easier for them.
It wasn’t this way at first. The idea of using touch screen technology in a consumer setting required a lot of testing, and even the first rollouts weren’t perfect. Still, we persevered and now we love to see touch screens whenever we enter a store. We see it as a sign that a business is really at the forefront of their industry.
With the success of a consumer setting, would the same success be seen in business?
Unfortunately, the transition hasn’t been as smooth when it comes to working on the back end of the business.
Even with hybrid tablet laptops entering the working world, it is very hard to beat the processing power of a desktop computer. Laptops, while having the processing power to rival desktops, still need to have some bulk to reach that power.
This means touch screen tablets aren’t able to do more difficult tasks like data processing or running certain types of software. They are good for the basics, such as word editing, but 3D modelling and rendering may be out of its capabilities.
Despite that, technology’s advancements are steadily increasing, and we may eventually see touch screen technology in our companies. It’s just not anytime soon.
A Fantasy That Could Be Our Next Reality
While touch screen technology isn’t perfect for all areas of business, it is still a great way to stand out from the competition.
However, it’s not the best technology for business work, and it can easily get in the way of your work when a simple keyboard and mouse will do the job just fine.
But with technology growing the way it is, I wouldn’t be surprised to see touch screen technology becoming more and more dominant. It just won’t happen too soon, but I don’t think it’s an impossibility that we won’t see.
After all, we used to say many things were impossible, but we can’t be afraid of change forever.
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