Digital Life: Improving without Breaking, Touchscreen Technology

February 16, 2017 in Smart Tips by Hee Jin Kim
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A technology may have come into our life a long time ago, but if it does not continue to improve to maintain its image, it might fade into obscurity. The variable that decides the fate might be innovative development that can change imagination to reality – and a technological upgrade. It’s important to note that advanced packaging is one of the innovative tools that the electronics industry uses to continually improve functionality and style and to achieve thinner form factors.

The touchscreen display is one of the things sustaining our modern life, but it has not remained in a simple ‘touch’ level. The technology in touchscreen displays is continuously improving, and ideas and results from small companies, rather than some large global giants, are worthy of attention.

An example is the touchscreen technology showcased at CES 2017, the world’s largest home electronics exhibition, by an American startup, Tanvas. The touchscreen display lets you touch and feel the texture of a product through a mobile device. The method has real-time control of the force acting on the fingertip and the surface of the screen, so it is a step forward from haptic feedback where you get vibrations while typing on the touchscreen.

▲ Smart Watch Used In Everyday Life (Photo Source: Pixa Bay https://pixabay.com)

 

You can feel various textures including adobe and fibers, therefore this new technology is expected to be widely used in all areas of digital life. It will probably be mandatory in areas like shopping, and could be a useful tool for special need population like blind people who have to face the world through touch.

▲ Echo, Amazon's Speaker Series Predicted To Come with 7" Touchscreen (previous version) (Photo Source: Gitae Kim https://www.flickr.com/photos/withpress/30658769815)

 

Of course, large global companies are staying in the competition through many technological updates in touchscreen. Amazon, especially, grabs attention with its speaker development that displays verbal command s for desired contents on screen. This product is projected to come equipped with a touchscreen the size of a tablet. The speaker, with 7″ touchscreen and based on artificial intelligence (AI) Alexa, can perform many tasks for the owner. The recent trends in information technology (IT, AI and touchscreen came together to be reborn as a unique and convenient cutting-edge product. This speaker with touchscreen can help you obtain a variety of content such as news or the weather forecast through sounds, sight and texture. What will consumers think about the technological combination of a touchscreen and a high-quality speaker? I guess we will see.

Touchscreen technology has been a long-time major trend in the smartphone market, and despite the predictions of its pending demise based on developments in voice recognition and AI, it is in an improved state and ready to be applied in the new generation of smartphones. The development and commercialization of a foldable smartphone that can bend and be crumpled is imminent, so the development of suitable touchscreen is also active.

The foldable smartphone is almost bezel-less and can bend in many angles, so a new design for the touchscreen is required that has the flexibility and malleability. That is also why many companies are interested in mass manufacturing a touchscreen display that can change its looks to match any curve.

▲ MacBook That Can Implement Touchscreen with Touch Bar (Photo Source: Pixa Bay https://pixabay.com)

 

Another approach progresses beyond direct applying, equipping and upgrading of touchscreen technology. Almost magically, a small tool can change a flat screen display to touch display. One of the applicable products is Apple’s MacBook. Equipped with a touch bar that can recognize touches through a stick that emits ultrasound waves, a MacBook lets you experience touch screen. The name of this touch bar is ‘AirBar,’ and it supports touch control of existing function keys, screen brightness, volume and so on.

The current touchscreen technology used in the automobile industry is even more awe-inspiring. It introduces ‘virtual’ touchscreen. The BMW HoloActive Touch system lets you control various functionality by touching holograms, and it is expected to make digital life more brilliant. This touch system controls the car interface without involving physical interaction, but still has consideration for users who are used to the existing touch style, both visually and tactually. The car drives while controlling the virtual touchscreen suspended in the air by fingertips without touchpad or wheels.

▲ Touchscreen Technology Already Deep Into the Digital Life (Photo Source: Pixa Bay https://pixabay.com)

 

To recap, touchscreen technology has progressed far beyond the previous method of simply touching and pressing something by hand. It can represent the texture of many things, collaborate with AI, and implement touchscreen through another tool if the display does not come with one. Furthermore, objects can move now with virtual screen touch.

Touchscreen has not faded to a thing of the past, and that is probably because the technology has been constantly upgrading, without ever taking a break. But the technology of now is certainly not the end product. The concept of ‘touch’ now seems to be progressing beyond the simple meaning of touching something to a listening, speaking and thinking smart AI. What will the next step bring?

The author, Heejin Kim, is a freelance copywriter, editor, writer, PT&contents planner, columnist, she has been working for long with various companies in on- and offline advertising editorial, magazine, ATL, and many other areas where the content can be expressed in writing. No matter in which position she is, she aims for her writing to living and breathing to deliver the dreams she inscribed in between the lines.