Touchscreens favored over keypads for OI terminals, study shows
Touchscreens are preferred over keypads for entering data into operator interface terminals, a recent study shows.
Touchscreens are preferred over keypads for entering data into operator interface terminals, a recent study shows. A market report from Venture Development Corp ., “ The North-American Markets for Industrial Electronic Monitors and Operator Interface Terminals, Fifth Edition ,” finds a continuing shift toward greater use of touchscreens over keypads as input devices.
According to the report, the current market shows touchscreens with more than half (53.8%) of the market, in percent of dollar volume. Keypads were at 29.8% and both touchscreen and keypads were at 16.4%. The expected 2006 market is projected at 56.3% for touchscreens, 26.2% for keypads, and 17.5% for both input devices.
Touchscreens account for more than half (53.8%) of the current North-American operator interface terminal market, in percent of dollar volume, according to a recent VDC Corp. study. Keypads were at 29.8% and both touchscreen and keypads were at 16.4%. The expected 2006 market is projected at 56.3% for touchscreens, 26.2% for keypads, and 17.5% for both input devices. (Illustration courtesy of VDC Corp.)
Touchscreens are an easy-to-use graphic interface for data or command inputs and occupy less space than a keyboard, the study says. Incorporating a small keypad or shortcut keys with a touchscreen increases the usability of the terminal, and vendors are introducing such products, the study says. Share of shipments of devices with keypads is, nonetheless, expected to decrease, according to the report.
As with the previous VDC study in this area in 2000, resistive technology continues to account for the vast majority of touchscreen shipments because of its cost-effectiveness and reliability. Capacitive touchscreens have gained some market share since 2000, with many suppliers offering both resistive and capacitive technologies. Capacitive touchscreens are very durable, but more expensive than resistive screens and cannot be used with gloves. Other technologies are available—among them near-field imaging, infrared, surface-acoustic wave, and guided-acoustic wave— and are used in some terminals. However, they are generally more expensive and less able to withstand harsh environments.
—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org