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Why the touch screen won the battle against physical keyboard, there are not so obvious reasons

While still find some phones that include physical keyboards in its design, the current Smartphone market is characterized by ultra thin but sturdy devices incorporating bigger and more sensitive touch screens. In fact, few manufacturers dare to combine both technologies and not only that, but those phones that work with buttons are aimed at a specific audience, the elderly.

Touch Screen

Credit: Google Image

However, although it seems that touch screens carry with us throughout life, not so long ago they began to be part of it. In fact and although the birth of this technology dates back much further back, its popularization in mobile came in 2007 with the appearance of the first iPhone and other gadgets that followed in his wake as the LG Prada KE850, the HTC Touch and the Sony Ericsson leaving, among others.

But let’s look at the reasons for the triumph of touch

The origins

As mentioned, the origins of the displays that are powered by the pressure of our fingers back to 1972, when a professor at the University of Kentucky named Sam Hurst, introduced a touch sensor to which he named Elograph. Although it is considered the great precursor, it was not until 1977 when it unveiled the first touch screen itself.

Since then, some companies decided to apply. IBM was one of them; with Brad Marshall leading the initiative, he decided to create their own system for their customers to have the opportunity to use the computer screenHP, Apple and Palm also began to do, but the idea did not quite catch on among users.

In 1992, even the signing of the apple came to light the phone Simon on display which could be written directly (Newton) with the help of a pencil and incorporating software that recognized the traces of writing. They should spending 14 years for the concept sink in.

How is a touchscreen

Having said that and before going to analyze the reasons that prompted the change was, we know how these screens work. Generally speaking, they are formed by a glass panel which, in turn, is covered by a thin metal layer that conducts electricity. The separation between both elements is minimal, a space for circulating energy.

Thus, tapping the screen produces a change in the electrical field, which serves the system to locate where there has been a loss of current. However, it is not the only method but there is one called acoustic wave that operates by means of reflectors located in the glass and bounced off the electrical signal.

The reasons for the change

  • A favorable context: To investigate what were the reasons they lost this battle physical keyboards, we cannot lose sight of the popularization of Smartphones that by the year 2007 and began to settle.Its features, among which are included, of course, browsing the Internet, requiring larger screens, but not only that, but also more flexible to use.
  • The development of robotics: Also played a key role in the delivery of increasingly accurate, can detect shapes, orientations and so you can already suppose you touch sensors.
  • Allow thereduction in thickness and weight of the cell: Obviously, the keyboard is associated with king-grams whose removal is appreciated.
  • Provide the ability tointegrate larger displays in the same space, that is, to have a “two for one” that provides greater viewing options.
  • Pose amore direct interaction human-gadget, with intuitive interfaces that respond to our natural gestures reason why the youngest of home are handled with surprising fluidity with our devices.
  • Cost reduction; And the launch of offers terminals made ​​a much more affordable gadgets.
  • Improved predictive text systems: In fact, find a favorite for this category, Swype, winner of the Consumer Product of the year 2010 and offered the possibility to enter text on any screen faster, than any other method.

The current picture

That said, recent studies indicate that the percentage of Smartphones with physical keyboard in 2014 was 1%. In fact, between this and last year the number of models had been reduced to 26 models. In this context brands like Samsung, BlackBerry, LG, Huawei and Nokia trickled, a reality that shows a clear trend.

At a time when the market stops telephone not advertise cell equipped with better sensors and in which some of its main commitments focus on compatibility with a greater number of gestures and types of pressure, no wonder.

One phone that is perfectly embodied the Sony Xperia Sola, with Floating Touch built, a feature that allows you to detect our fingertips even without these have come into contact with the surface. In Microchip Technology they are doing something to increase the workspace. Its technology operates up to 18 feet away.

And you, what do you think were the reasons for the triumph of touch?

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