The Touch-y Subject Of Touch Tech For Digital Signage

June 19, 2012 by Dave Haynes

One of the more interesting sessions I took in at last week’s DisplaySearch conference – ahead of InfoComm – was on emerging interactive technologies.

Speaking pretty much faster than I can think, Jennifer Colegrove of DisplaySearch spoke about where the touch industry is at and put up a few slides that nicely reflected why it is really hard to stay on top of that space right now.

There are at least a dozen different touch technology categories out there right now, and almost 200 companies selling their own variations on them.

By far, the big boy is Projected Capacitive, or P-Cap, or The Touch Thing That’s Most Like My Smartphone screen. The numbers of companies doing that has grown sharply, and the same with companies doing “multi-touch” – which by most definitions could be any number of the categories listed above, including P-Cap.

There has been huge growth in the touch screen business in the last few years, with year on year revenues up 90% in 2011. However, 99% of that was for smartphones and tablets.

Then again, Colegrove says “Touch for Digital signage/public displays will have steady growth in the next several years, from 9 million units in 2011 to about 16 million units in 2017.”

The general sense, and certainly where my head is at, is that the touch technology with real growth is whatever best mimics the experience people have with personal devices. So a public screen that behaves like a smartphone – with flicks and swipes – has it all over ones that don’t do much more than replace clicking a mouse. The user base has moved on from that.

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