The resistive touchscreen technology we use today was developed in research and engineering settings in the 1970s. This technology was first available to consumers in the 1980's with HP's first touch screen PC. PDAs and Tablet PCs such as the Apple Newton or Palm devices became widely available in the 1990s and early 2000s, with limited market adoption.
Adoption accelerated in the early-mid 2000's with the breakout of "multi-touch" interfaces providing multiple-finger touch and gesture recognition, pioneered by researchers like Jefferson Han (Perceptive Pixel) and Wayne Westerman (Fingerworks).
This was followed by touch-based smartphones bursting onto the scene with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, followed closely by Google’s Android platform in 2008, rapidly removing phones with keypads from the market.
Today, touchscreens power many things like airline self-service, hospitality and entertainment ticketing, healthcare, and many other kiosk & outdoor applications. With hardware becoming less expensive while applications for touch interfaces grow rapidly, the future will be the elimination of the mouse and keyboard. One of my favorite demonstrations of this is Corning's "A Day in the Life" video series.
Want more information on NUI and other touchscreen applications? Download our Free NUI Whitepaper on using touchscreen applications in business? Next time we will discuss the benefits of using NUI for touchscreen and mobile applications. Stay tuned.