whats that thing that apple created that allows you to use your screen as a touch screen?

its kind of like the Kinect for xbox.

2 Answers

  • rowlfe
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Apple did NOT invent the touchscreen, XEROX did back in the 50's before there were personal computers, just as XEROX invented the single button pointing device that became known as a mouse. Apple used ALL of it's innovations by simply taking them from research done by XEROX into ergonomics of people interacting with business machines. XEROX was in competition with IBM and the graphic display was the next big thing since sliced bread for BOTH. Apple simply piggybacked on THEIR work with the Macintosh. In the trade, it was called stealing trade secrets, corporate espionage. At the time, it was NOT a crime to steal trade secrets as it is today, so Apple got away with it. The first touchscreen simply used a matrix of infrared beams over the surface of a standard CRT TV type display tube, and your finger was located by which beams were blocked. The resolution was the width of the beams, about 1/8th to 1/4th inch. The told the beams apart by modulating each with sound. The receptors only listen and responded to a beam with it's own unique tone, so even though side by side, you could exactly determine which beams were blocked. Infra red was used since your skin (and matte black paint) absorbs it rather than reflects. A reflection would confuse the issue. The mouse was simply an X-Y pointing device that used electrical rotation counters to measure how far it rolled in each direction. The button was a trigger which sent "mark this position" signals to the corresponding screen electronics. Compared to today, primitive. Today the touch screen uses transparent capacitors in a matrix across the inside of the glass of the screen. As your finger moves near each charged plate, the value changes in proportion to the distance. It is called a proximity detector and guess what... comes from antiaircraft shells that would explode at the closest point of approach if it missed direct contact, also dating back to the 50's. The electrical circuit plots the position much like a 3 dimensional curved depression, with the deepest part corresponding to the end of your finger and where the cursor should be relative to the screen. Then, the actual touch to the surface is simply a maximum value. The mechanics and electronics are not the same, but in principle they are identical in form and function. All of the new sensing devices use an electric field to locate the electrically conductive things surrounding the field generator, very much like a 3 dimensional Doppler radar. Not only do get X, Y and Z positions, you also get speed in each direction as well. This is from military anti-missile targeting technology, which again, is/was NOT invented by Apple. The ONLY reason why all of this stuff works as it does is the increase in computing power and the decrease in size of the hardware since the concept first became a reality in software and hardware. Today, YOU take it for granted, but _I_ was there to SEE IT firsthand as it happened... Just as my grandparents were there to see it happen when the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk...

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  • 8 years ago

    Apple did not create the touch part of the screen. Each touch screen device has its own digitizer, which is the touch screen part under the actual screen.

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