How Touch Screens Work
|Q: HOW DOES IT WORK?
A: Our Touch Screens install, work and act just like a mouse. Use your finger (or stylus) directly on the screen to start programs, pull down menus, draw, delete text, and be creative. You can touch, double-touch, and touch-and-drag just like a mouse. Any program that uses a mouse can use our Touch Screens to do the same functions - and you can have a lot more fun.
The TouchWindow has a flat, clear, pressure-sensitive surface that recognizes a touch and lets the computer know where, when, and for how long you touched it. The pressure sensitive surface has two plastic sheets with transparent electrical conductors on the facing surfaces. By touching the top sheet, you push it into electrical contact with the lower sheet. The electronics sensors "see" the contact, identify the X and Y coordinates, and sends them down to your computer. The software driver interprets the signal and then directs the appropriate computer response.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME COMMON USES FOR THE TOUCHWINDOW?
A: The TouchWindow is perfect for desktop computers, kiosks, training machines and any programs that can use a mouse. It is more natural than a mouse and easier to learn how to use. It is superb for multi-media applications and trainers who want to stand up in front of a class and show people how-to-do things by directly by touching the screen. Multi-Media, restaurants, malls, real estate, point-of-sale, interactive CD, process control, public information systems, and etc. And yes, it works great with games too.
Q: DOES TOUCHWINDOW COME IN OTHER SIZES?
A: Yes, we have several Laptop sizes (10"-15") and CRT sizes (14" to 21". TOUCH SCREENS INC. also sells BUILT-IN touch screens from 9" to 26" size.
Q: HOW LONG HAS THE TOUCHWINDOW PRODUCT BEEN AVAILABLE?
A: The Mac, Apple and Amiga versions have been selling since 1985. (over 25,000 sold to date). The DOS version has been available since 1980.
Q: CAN I TOUCH THE SCREEN WITH OTHER THINGS BESIDES MY FINGER?
A: Yes, since the TouchWindow is pressure sensitive, you can use anything that is not sharp - like your finger, fingernail, gloved hand, or the free stylus pen that comes with the TouchWindow product.
Q: HOW DO YOU CLEAN A TOUCHWINDOW?
A: The TouchWindow is specially treated to resist dirt and oils. However, if dirty, wipe it with a lint-free damp cloth. You may use window cleaner or a non-abrasive cleanser. Do not spray liquids directly on the screen, as they may leak down into the circuit boards of the frame.
Q: WHAT KIND OF WARRANTY DOES THE PRODUCT HAVE?
A: The TouchWindow carries a 1 year limited warranty. If damaged by any normal usage during the first year, we will fix it or replace it for free once it is shipped to us. After the first year, it costs $100. to repair. Our BUILT-IN touch screens come with a 5 year warranty.
Q: IS THE TOUCHWINDOW MADE OF DURABLE MATERIALS?
A: The TouchWindow has a clear see-through surface which is made of specially treated hardened acrylic plastic. It is scratch and mar resistant. It's durability is evidenced by the 8,000+ TouchWindows now in use at grade schools nationwide. It has excellent light clarity ratio of 95%.
The mean-time-between failure is 2 million hours for the electronic components and 1 million touches (in one single spot) on the screen and 15 million touches - if touched randomly.
For heavy-usage consider buying our clear-acetate protective overlay sheets that fit into the TouchWindow frame and can be disposed of when they get scratched-up or written upon (cost is $19.95 for 10 sheets).
Q: HOW DOES THE TOUCHWINDOW COMPARE WITH OTHER TOUCH SCREENS?
A: It is much less expensive ($295. compared to $1,500. and up). It is also portable which means if your PC monitor burns out, you can simply attach the TouchWindow to a new PC monitor bought from a local computer store without having the extra expense of buying a whole new touch monitor each time (about $1,200 difference). It is also flexible and allows you to use it as a graphics pad, or tracing tablet. You should also know however, that embedded touch screens sometimes offer more durability (mounted directly against the glass) and have higher resolutions for CAD/CAM drawing. TOUCH SCREENS INC. sells embedded touch screen products as well.
Q: HOW EASY IS IT TO INSTALL?
A: Mount the TouchWindow to the frame of your computer screen with the supplied Velcro tape. Plug it into your computer serial port (a 9-to-25 pin adapter may be needed if your computer is a 9 pin). Then plug it into a power outlet and run the Install program. The install program requires only a few simple menu choices and then asks you to calibrate the screen by touching two points. Now you're done, and ready to run your own programs - no programming required! A few simple demo programs are also included.
Q: WILL THE TOUCHWINDOW WORK WITH MY PROGRAM(S)?
A: Yes, if your program supports standard mouse interrupt functions. It is instantly compatible with millions of computer programs - no changes are required. The only programs that we know will not work are: Brief version 1.0, and Clarion version 2.1, (3.0 works fine though).
Q: HOW CAN I ATTACH THE TOUCHWINDOW MORE FIRMLY TO MY PC SCREEN?
A: You can 1) use more Velcro strips, 2) use the "stabilizer bumps" included in the package under the right and left edges of the frame to firm up the support, 3) use double stick tape all the around the TouchWindow, or 4) use the stabilizer rails which mount under the right-and-left hand sides of the screen which gives it extremely firm support.
Q: DO YOU HAVE TOUCHWINDOW PRODUCTS FOR OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS?
A: Yes, for the Macintosh, Apple, and Amiga systems. As you know, it works great on DOS 3.0 (and above), Windows 3.0 (and above), DeskView, Windows for Workgroups, Pen Windows, and Windows 95. We are presently developing a Windows NT driver, and plan to develop drivers for OS/2.
Q: WHAT TECHNOLOGY IS USED-CAPACITIVE, RESISTIVE, S.A.W. OR INFRARED?
A: Resistive - it is pressure sensitive and requires a only a soft touch to active a touch point. It has two sheets of hardened acrylic plastic separated by invisible spacer bubbles which compress upon contact. See the "How does it work?" question.
Q: WHAT VIDEO RESOLUTION DOES IT SUPPORT?
A: All. Since it is clear, you can run your monitor in any video resolution you please and it will display through the TouchWindow. Our product has over 1 Million touchable points on the screen (1024 x 1024). It works on Super VGA, EGA, monochrome, and color monitors. It automatically adjusts to any one of the many video graphic resolutions that your particular program or monitor happens to use.
Q: IS THERE A CURSOR?
A: The mouse cursor (arrow) still appears on the screen as normal. Rubbing across words on the screen marks them in reverse video. When using a TouchWindow, the cursor automatically jumps to the first contact point. This saves you a lot of time that you formerly spent with chasing a mouse cursor around to get it where you wanted it.
Q: WHAT IF I TOUCH SEVERAL POINTS AT THE SAME TIME (FAT FINGER SYNDROME)?
A: The TouchWindow automatically averages all points of contact and sends only one X,Y coordinate through to your computer at a time.
Q: HOW FAST DOES IT RESPOND?
A: The TouchWindow responds at a quick 13.3 milliseconds. This means that you can draw a figure 8 on the screen and the arrow cursor will stay right with your finger.
Q: WHAT WOULD CAUSE THE TOUCHWINDOW TO SUDDENLY STOP WORKING?
A: It could be caused by 1) the power plug has come loose, 2) the power plug is set in backwards, or 3) another program (often a bus-mouse) has interfered with our Interrupt and stopped the operating system from actively "seeing" our TouchWindow activity.
Q: WHAT IF THE TOUCHWINDOW CURSOR DOES NOT MATCH MY TOUCH POINTS?
A: The TouchWindow may have moved in respect to the screen monitor. Run the TouchWindow calibration (TWCalib) program again to reset it. If the touch points seem to be off only within certain programs, recalibrate using "TWCALIB -a" to carefully calibrate all 10 video modes.
Q: WHAT IS THE PARALLAX EFFECT?
A: When someone looks at the TouchWindow from a different position it appears that the touch points are "off" somewhat. What is really happening is that the touch points have not changed but the angle of viewing two parallel surfaces has changed. The user can either move back to their original viewing point, or recalibrate. TOUCH SCREENS INC. also markets embedded touch screens which minimize this effect by being mounted directly against the glass plate of the PC monitor.
Q: HOW MUCH MEMORY DOES THE TOUCHWINDOW USE?
A: The TouchWindow acts like a mouse driver and uses only 12k of RAM memory and less than 30k of disk space.
Q: WHICH COMMUNICATIONS PORTS DOES IT SUPPORT.
A: The TouchWindow presently (ver 3.0) supports comm 1 thru 4.
Q: CAN I USE THE TOUCHWINDOW AC/DC POWER ADAPTER OVERSEAS?
A: Probably not, all countries use different standards for voltages, etc. We have special overseas adapters available for $20 extra.
Q: DOES THE TOUCHWINDOW COME IN AN ANTI-GLARE VERSION?
A: Not yet. The TouchWindow has been specially treated not to show every finger print and make the touch surface - oil and dirt resistant. In order to do so, it does reflect some light and can be adjusted by tilting the screen or adjusting it so that lights are not directly behind the user.
Q: CAN A PROGRAMMER REDEFINE HOW THE TOUCHWINDOW OPERATES?
A: Yes, we will send a technical programmers manual (10 pages) upon request. They can intercept the X,Y coordinates directly from the serial port (if they choose not to load our driver). They are in an X,Y,Y format at 4800 baud, 8 data bits.
Q: Can you use a Mouse and the TouchWindow simultaneously?
A: Yes, for DOS, Windows, and Amiga applications. Older versions worked this way only in DOS (software upgrades are free).
Note: To use both a mouse and TouchWindow simultaneously, you must load the mouse driver first. Also, the mouse and TouchWindow must be connected to two different serial ports using different interrupts.
Q: Which version of Windows does it work with?
A: Windows version 3.0 and above and Windows for Workgroups. Note: The old install routine shows 3.0 (but meant 3.0 and above).
Q: How can I make Windows borders "finger-size"?
A: Change the SYS.INI file "border width" command from 3 to 10.
Q: How can I make Windows Double-Click work better?
A: Change the SYS.INI file by adding the lines: "DoubleClickHeight=15" and "DoubleClickWidth=15".
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