touchscreens – on the comeback trail…!

At Real Projects we’ve recently been invited to look at a number of touchscreen projects for clients. I looked at the possibilities of touchscreens in 1996, since then the technology has moved on a lot. the technology is now being used in many devices from information points in shopping centres to mobile phones. On the blog one of my first posts was about microsoft sphere. A few weeks before I came across sphere I was at Norwich University College of the Arts and some of the students and technicians had created a very cool table top touch screen to showcase the work of the computer games degree.

It was a very clever use of technology and displayed the students work in a really elegant and clever way. I then read last week about a project in Scotland (http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/sep/17/itforschools.elearning) where an interactive desk has been developed. The desk and its possibilities look fantastic. The Guardian article discusses how they could be used in the classroom but I can think of many commercial applications from designers to architects. There are also many custom e-learning applications that could be developed for these touchscreen tables.

After being invited to come up with some design concepts for touchscreens we started to wonder where they were currently being used…we all went out on a march across the city to see where the technology was in use.

  • Pubs
  • Betting shops!
  • The tube
  • Shopping Malls
  • Train Stations
  • Police Information Points
  • Mobile Phones
  • PDA
  • Remote Controls

It was really interesting to see that the technology is already being used in many places and its become part of our technical landscape. I spend a bit of time travelling to clients in London and regularly look at how travellers engage with the video screens in tube stations. I wonder how long it will be before we see interactive adverts using touchscreens. (not on the escalators!)

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