background image
decision support systems, engineering , architecture, and education.
Typical applications can be placed in the following groups:
- Public Information:
Many people who do not have computer experience use infor-
mation kiosks at tourism and trade shows.The user-friendly touchscreen interface
facilitates the transfer of information.
- Games and Edutainment:
Attractive interfaces giving the impression of virtual or
augmented reality are becoming more and more popular. Because new interfaces are
more user-friendly, interactive learning can be presented as more fun.This makes the
application very appealing for serving children and can be useful for distance learn-
- Self-Service Terminals:
Self-service terminals improve customer service in stores,
fast food restaurants, transportation hubs and at ATM's (Automated Teller Machines).
They are increasingly used in libraries for retrieving catalogue information.
- Control and Automation Systems:
New devices are applied in industrial process
control and in the automation of home devices.With these systems users can moni-
tor and control complex operations.
- Users with Special Needs:
New technology can be beneficial to people with diffi-
culty in using devices such as a mouse or keyboard.When used in conjunction with
virtual keyboards or eye tracking, computing resources can become increasingly use-
ful to people who, for whatever reason, have difficulty using computers.
- The Cultural Heritage Sector:
According to recent survey data, approximately one
third of museums in the USA use or are interested in exploring the use of innovative
technologies. A steady increase in the introduction of these devices can be expected.
H o w i t a l l w o r k s
A. Visual technologies
According to Gartner Group research, the basic transformation in the IT industry over
the coming decade (2003-2012) will be closely related to the availability of cheaper dis-
play technologies. Consequently, this report places emphasis on issues of new visual tech-
What is Touchscreen Technology?
The touchscreen is the simplest and most direct way of interacting with a computer.
The technology has been with us since the 1970s and the principle of operation is age-
old: point at what is wanted.The touchscreen combines the roles of input and output
device. Its use is intuitive for virtually every child and adult.
Human Interfaces
The sector which involves the most ubiquitous use of such new equipment is that of amusement and
recreation, and the links between computer games and human interfaces in the heritage sector are covered
in detail in the section on Games, below.