Touch screens are certainly not a new technology. Touch screen monitors have been around and in use since the 1970’s. However, recent advances in mobile phone technology, computer tablets and PDA’ shave seen touch screen monitors receive a renaissance in recent years.
And with a burgeoning digital signage market expecting to continue to expand, touch screens may become the norm for future monitor and signage applications.
A recent report from industry analysts Nanomarkets, entitled “Touch Screens: Technologies, Materials and Markets”, suggests that touch screen will play a key role in the digital signage market in the coming years with revenues from touch screen displays expecting to increase by 33% by the year 2014.
Much of this increase, the report concludes, will have been generated for the demand for touch screens in mobile and personal computing but also, the report suggests, many traditional LCD or plasma screens currently used in digital signage are likely to be replaced with touch screen technology.
With innovations like the iPhone and the latest Microsoft Windows 7 operating system being very touch screen orientated, combined with the falling costs of the technology, we may even see conventional displays and LCDs a thing of the past.
Touch screen is also far more versatile for digital signage in that it allows interactivity that is just not possible with conventional LCD monitors unless they are combined with a keyboard or other input device. But having a single flat screen that acts both as a dynamic display and input device for little additional cost is far more attractive to the digital signage market than conventional displays.
One area that touch screens may struggle to operate safely in, however, is in the outdoor digital signage market. As touch screens need to have an exposed screen, protecting the touch screen monitor from the elements can be problematic but LCD enclosures and touch screen enclosures do exist that should eliminate this problem.