How Will the Touchscreen Evolve in 2017?

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It isn’t hyperbole to say the touchscreen is the dominant interface of both the present and foreseeable future. Until we reach our sci-fi goals of holograms that respond dynamically to touch (and are the main interface of our intergalactic battleships, naturally) the touchscreen will remain the leader in the market of input device technology. Touchscreens power nearly everything we interact with on a daily basis. Obviously, our phones are the biggest example. Tablets and smartwatches make up a sizable share of the touchscreen market as well. But, touch is definitely moving out of the Android/iDevice territory it’s been associated with for so long.

If this year’s CES and surrounding tech giant announcements are any indication, PC manufacturers are going all in on touch technology as well. 2-in-1 flippable laptops remain a popular choice and Microsoft recently unveiled the Surface Studio, which is the first desktop-sized monitor to rely on touch input in an effort to give creatives a better user experience.

That’s not the whole story going into 2017, however. Touchscreens have permeated every part of our lives beyond our personal devices. ATMs, service kiosks, even restaurants are shifting to touchscreen technology to enhance the experience for customers.

Let’s look at some strong possibilities of where the touchscreen will go in 2017.

Bigger displays

The Surface Studio may be getting a lot of press, but there are certainly more (and even bigger) displays coming down the pipeline. The name Elo may not be as recognizable as Samsung or other companies in the display industry, but they are certainly on the cutting edge when it comes to pushing touchscreen technology (pun semi-intended). Not only does Elo supply the touchscreens that power KeyMe’s fast key kiosks, which you can find in a growing number of locations, but they are also pushing the boundaries of how we think about touch displays. Check out the 55inch 4K Ultra HD screen that Elo put out towards the end of 2016.

mta touchscreen

What use cases do these big displays have? If you’ve used public transit in New York City, you’ve seen how displays of this size can benefit the public. Many subway stations offer large touch screen kiosks that allow users to better navigate the subway system, including planning trips and checking arrival times. In the Port Authority, you’ll find touchscreens of similar sizes that allow visitors to look up New Jersey transit routes. If you’ve ever tried to find the correct NJ Transit bus at the Port Authority, you know how helpful an interactive guide like this is.

Touchscreens disrupt more businesses

Touchscreens allow businesses to think outside the box and offer more direct services to their customers. Kiosk businesses like KeyMe disrupt consumer reliance on brick-and-mortar stores, allowing a more self-directed user experience for customers.

Nowhere is the enjoyment of this self-directed experience more evident than in the rise of touchscreen ordering in restaurants. Elo, again, is looking to transform dining for both customers and the staff. They are seeing higher demand for their touchscreens in dining establishments thanks to improved customer experiences for ordering, better handling of high traffic by the staff, and helping waitstaff stay organized on the floor and keep better track of orders. Using touchscreens to connect customers directly with inventory systems allows restaurant owners to provide an updated menu when offerings change and allows diners to enjoy their dinner uninterrupted by a server…unless they want one!

More precise control and content delivery

The past couple of years have brought us the concept of haptic feedback and more precise touch controls. Even though keyboards are a thing of the past on many devices, there is still a need for nuance in the way we interact with those devices. Haptic feedback has addressed the problem. You get the feeling of pressing on something that is physically immobile. Apple’s 3D Touch is a good example of this. It’s allowed the iPhone to give users more options and submenus depending on the pressure of their push and the hand gestures they use. The Apple Watch has made use of the same technology. There is still definitely more room to innovate in this space. Expect to see more companies experiment with providing “sleight of hand” tactile experiences on their touch displays.

To try out KeyMe’s touchscreen today, find a fast key kiosk and pay us a visit! 

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