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Do I have to use special software to use my touch screen? – Sandy Claws

Dear Sandy:

Wanting to keep things simple, Touch Guy’s answer is “No and Maybe” (this is my new alternate answer to the usual, ‘It depends’). For those of you using a USB-connected system, the touch screen will look like a mouse to your software and because virtually all software works with a mouse, nothing is required. For Windows 7, the touch screen will look like a digitizer or several digitizers to accommodate multi-touch (one for each touch occurring at the same time) and nothing new is required to do all of the cool gestures like pinch, rotate and shrink. Similar multi-touch support is available for Linux operating systems and some versions of CE (though XP embedded comes with fewer headaches). The technical term for this magic is HID Compliant (HID=Human Interface Device) or in the case of Win7, Windows 7 Tablet Compliant. All of Touch International’s USB projected capacitive systems are compliant and will work without having to do anything extra.

The “Maybe” answer comes in to play when systems still run on serial (RS232) connections which require a driver to allow the touch screen to communicate with the software. A touch screen generates an X and Y coordinate (and in some cases a Z). The driver looks at the touch coordinate and then looks at the “hot spot” or the place where the mouse cursor was left on the screen. Next the driver moves the mouse cursor with up/down and right/left “mickeys” to the location of the touch and issues a mouse click. And Jiminy Christmas, the touch works with any software! Touch drivers also allow you to control other things such as calibrating the touch screen to different size displays, controlling how hard or light you have to touch the screen, enabling right button clicks and eliminating the mouse cursor from the screen.

Happy Holidays and remember… my touch screens make great gifts!!

Until next time,
Touch Guy