Touch Screen Terminals

Touch Screen Terminals refer to keyboards or keypads which respond when touched by human hand or a touching implement eg: a stylus, and can also be called HMIs – Human Machine Interfaces. Touch screen terminals are available for both industrial and commercial purposes, and can be found in a range of customizable configurations. They are designed to withstand a wide range of environmental conditions, and can be panel mounted, pedestal mounted or handheld. Different types of touch screen terminals are needed for various applications, and these can include;

  • Ethernet graphic terminals
  • Handheld graphic operator interfaces
  • GPS systems

To name just a few… Touch terminals are used in a huge variety of industries, and some of these include, the aircraft industry, the shipping industry, the building industry and the transport industry.

A touchscreen works by detecting the location and presence of a touch within its display/screen area, and this is usually achieved by the user applying a touch to the screen with either a finger or a stylus type instrument. This direct interaction with the display indicates the presence of a touchscreen. If the object or instrument used to interact with the screen is active such as the use of a lightpen, the term touchscreen is generally not applicable.

Touch screens can be used as computer monitors, and one very common application for this can be seen worldwide in the form of terminals to networks. They are used widely in many industries, and can commonly be seen at locations such as museums, libraries, and tourist centres, where they are used for information purposes.

Touchscreens have two main attributes. Firstly they enable one to interact directly with what is displayed on the screen, removing the need for a keyboard or mouse, and secondly it enables one to do so without any secondary handheld device such as a stylus or pen.

Up until the 1980s many consumer touchscreens were only capable of sensing one point of contact at a time, and very few could sense how much pressure or how hard they were being touched. However with the advance of multi-touch technology, this is starting to change.

There are several types of touch-screen technology and some of these are:

  • Resistive
  • Capacitive
  • Projected capacitance
  • Surface acoustic soundwave
  • Infrared
  • Strain gauge
  • Acoustic pulse recognition
  • Optical imaging Dispersive signal technology

With the development of multipoint touchscreens, came the facility of tracking more then one finger or point on the screen, and devices are now available which allow the interaction of multiple users simultaneously.

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