This year many touchscreen innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) left spectators awestruck. If the latest breakthroughs are anything to go by, the future of touch-tech seems extremely impressive.
One such innovation was a tablet with dynamic buttons that 'magically' appear and disappear as needed. In other words, it has real bubble-like transparent keys that could 'rise' out of the flat touchscreen and disappear when you're done typing. As such, the hardware company behind the pop-up keyboard offers a potential solution for those who want a physical keyboard along with the ease of swipes and gestures.
More recently, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, a California-based company displayed how wasted spaces like the edges around the touchscreen or on front of the phone can be used. It showcased a flexible touchscreen technology that covers the entire front portion of a phone or tablet and even wraps around the sides of the device. One can easily imagine having a row of buttons being added to the side edges if there was to be a working touchscreen there. This tech innovation could change the way mobile device screens look like in future.
Another tech demo on show at the MWC was the eye-grabbing hovering touchscreen technology that lets you control your smartphone or tablet without actually touching the display. Essentially, it is a no-touching touchscreen. Rather than monitoring contact with the screen, a controller chip observes the electrical field of the touch screen. Once your finger is within that electrical field, a simple swipe or poke can easily get registered. Though the technology is yet to be refined, the hovering hand control in your device is not too far away.
But perhaps the most fascinating innovation is the use of touchscreens in wearable technology. What if you could have technology in your clothing rather than the phone in your pocket? For those who swear by their smartphones, a touchscreen shirt might just fit the bill. An American clothing and accessories company has visualized a clothing system wherein touchscreen capabilities are built into the very fiber of clothing, paving way for touchscreen shirts - the ultimate mobility device. Interestingly, wearable touchscreen wear holds the potential to even replace the mobile devices we carry with us.
Meanwhile, many argue that touch interfaces on traditional computers are hard to navigate. On the other hand, an increasing number of users think that using a touchscreen PC can be faster and easier than using a mouse pad. Moreover, tapping and swiping on a touchscreen can be far more intuitive and is similar to using a smartphone or a tablet. In fact, touchscreens may soon become a norm on laptops and twisting, swiveling, detachable displays, will join touchpads as standard, mainstream features.
Just when you think touchscreens couldn't get any better, the technology comes up with more surprises. It is only a matter of time before these path-breaking innovations are made mainstream by futuristic companies. Clearly, touchscreens are here to stay.