||A company called Elo TouchSystems has announced that they have developed touchscreens that will be used in iMacs. Though the details were short, iMacs with these touchscreens were showed at KioskCom 99. The company is using a technology which allows them to read pressure directly on the screen without using an overlay which typically inhibits screen clarity.
Elo TouchSystems, Inc. today announces that iTouch(TM), Elo's latest surface wave technology, will be used on iMac, Apple's market-leading consumer Macintosh. The iTouch-enhanced iMacs were introduced in April at KioskCom 99, San Francisco, CA.
"Elo's new "touch-on-tube" iTouch surface wave technology, is the clearest, most responsive touchscreen technology for the kind of self-service and public access applications that are fueling the demand for kiosk solutions in many vertical markets," says Annemarie Feely, Elo market manager for kiosk applications. "As a proven leader and preferred supplier for kiosk applications according to Summit Research, we are uniquely positioned to bring the power of iMac to these applications." In that survey, Francine Mendelsohn, president of Summit Research Associates, states that the majority of respondents indicated a preference for Elo touchmonitors.
The touch technology gracing the face of iTouch-enhanced iMacs represents a major breakthrough in touch technology development that allows Elo to direct surface waves onto the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) for touch sensing. "No overlay on the CRT means the highest quality image possible," says Steve DeLateur, vice-president of research and development at Elo. "Durability, another important feature for the public access environment, will also improve greatly because the CRT faceplate is several times stronger than a touchscreen overlay." In addition, the iTouch-enhanced iMac utilizes an integrated USB controller/driver where other iMac touch solutions require an added attachment to convert serial to USB.
Elo's new iTouch technology challenges traditional overlay touchscreens by presenting a new, better, touch solution. Elo is the only touch provider in the industry to offer a touch solution that preserves the functionality, image quality and outward appearance of iMac.
Elo TouchSystems says that shipping units will be available in June.
The Mac Observer Spin: While we are awaiting word back from Elo TouchSystems and Apple, this product is not aimed at consumers. Instead, touch screen equipped iMacs are aimed at Kiosks, where the Mac's ease of use make it an ideal solution.
In the past, most touch screen development efforts have been aimed at Wintel solutions, but the iMac's compactness, quality, lack of cords, and networking power may make Apple headway in this area.
Once upon a time, there were lots of Macs behind such things as Kiosk banking and other early Kiosk efforts. This product from Elo TouchSystems and the success of the iMac will hopefully lead Apple back to some prominence in this area.