The History of the Touch Screen Phone

Last Updated on August 28, 2022 by Ram Thakur

In the 21st century, smartphones are our best friend, and In fact, you can hardly pass a day without using a smartphone. I can also bet that you are reading this article on your smartphone right now.

While most of us are using this touch screen phone, have you ever wondered who invented the touch screen technology? or which phone was the first touchscreen phone? Now that you’ve started asking yourself questions, I bet you’re also curious to know the history of the touch screen phone.

So I have gone through the internet and research papers to let you know the latest updates. Let’s find out the history of the touch screen phone.

Who Invented the First Touchscreen Device?

Many people say that E.A. Johnson is the first person to develop the first touchscreen device back in 1965, which was patented in 1969. That device could only read one touch at a time, and it was used to maintain traffic control until about 1995.

Next, there were two Engineers at CERN named Frank Beck and Bent Stumpe. They were responsible for developing a transparent capacitive touch screen in early 1970. This kind of screen basically relies on an object that is put on a hard surface that will react on pressing. This device was manufactured and utilized in 1973.

On the other hand, Samuel G Hurst founded the irresistible touch screen back in 1971, and he called it the “Elograph”. He named the device by his company’s name, but it wasn’t produced in a mass amount since it was a limited edition. So, it was sold until the early 1980s.

The Beginning of Multi-Touch Technology

The single-touch technology wasn’t working too well, so the people started to focus on inventing a device that can support multi-touch technology. To be honest, it didn’t take them too long to invent one. The Era started in the year 1982, when the University of Toronto developed a tablet that had the ability to read multiple touch interactions.

Bell Labs developed a touch screen that could interact with the screen with more than one hand in 1984, and during that same timeline, Myron Krueger developed an optical system that can track hand movements. That was simply the beginning of the multi-touch technology that we are using today.

Right after a year in 1985, the University of Toronto and Bill Book Stall, who was a computer scientist and pioneer of human-computer interaction, utilized the captivative technology to innovate the multi-touch tablet. This was the beginning where scientists started to experiment with the touch screen technology one by one.

Andrew Sears, who was a computer scientist, conducted an academic study on human-computer interaction back in the 1990s. Through the research, he reviewed the touch screen gestures, rotating knobs, swiping method to activate, and the multi-touch gestures that connect an object as we tap.

Over the years, touch screen Technology continued to innovate itself. The touch screen was becoming more interactive to human touch and gestures. Engineers were focussing more to create innovative moments through devices.

The First Touchscreen Phone

In 1992 the IBM Simon was the first touchscreen phone that was ever made. But there are still a few debates if that was the first touchscreen smartphone or not. In the same timeline, there were a few more brands that focused on inventing the touchscreen phone.

In 1993 Apple released Its first touch-capable Newton PDA. It wasn’t a touch screen phone but a device only. When people started to compare all the touch screen devices at that time, none of them was near the PDA’s.

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The LG PRADA – 2006

There will be many debates on which phone was the first smartphone with the touch screen technology, but LG was the first brand to introduce the first capacitive touch screen In the smartphone industry. The model was called the LG Prada.

As more brands like Samsung, Nokia, and Apple were continuously developing the touch screen technology to launch a smartphone in the market, LG beat everyone to introduce the first touchscreen smartphone.

The iPhone – 2007

In 1998, FingerWorks was a gesture recognition company that produced a line of multi-touch products, including the touch screen keyboard and the iGesture pad. Apple was smart enough to buy that company back in 2005.

In 2007, Apple introduced the most innovative touchscreen technology of that time that no one had ever seen or experienced, which was the iPhone. They called it the iPhone 3G.

The interface of the iPhone was fully touch-based that included a notorious virtual keyboard. Following the introduction of the iPhone Apple also launched the iPod touch and iPad.

The Battle of Smartphones

The iPhone bought a revolutionary change in the smartphone industry, and more and more competitors like Samsung, Nokia, and LG started to challenge Apple’s idea.

Unfortunately, Nokia stepped out of the battle as they thought the touch screen smartphone production would be very costly, and LG couldn’t meet up to the customers’ expectations. But Samsung, on the other hand, was full-on and ready to compete with Apple.

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon also entered the smartphone battle, but no one was able to go near the rivalry between Samsung and Apple.

Microsoft had introduced the Lumia series after acquiring Nokia that did create a big hype in the market, but it wasn’t up to the customers’ expectations.

Google also provided some excellent smartphones through its pixel series, but when compared to the price with features, Samsung and Apple were still on top of the list.

Throughout the year, Apple kept innovating the iPhone, and now in the 21st century, we have 12 versions of the iPhone. On the other hand, Samsung introduced its Galaxy S series. Even on this day, people compare Apple’s iPhone series with the Samsung Galaxy S series. For the consumers, this is an eternal debate.

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The touch screen display is susceptible to human touch, and it has been around for nearly half a century. These days, every technology that we use has a touch screen technology in it let alone smartphones. If anything happens to your touchscreen phone, then visit phone repair Croydon. Today almost anything can be turned into an interactive surface, and it’s tough to find someone who doesn’t use a touchscreen smartphone. The touch screen technology is still innovating every day as we speak, but that doesn’t mean we will forget the past and how it was invented and innovated.

EarthTechy Staff

EarthTechy Staff

EarthTechy is a trusted tech news platform that provides information, opinion, and advice on technology and helps you get the most out of it.