The way in which control computers and other electronic devices has evolved. No longer are we forced to use a keyboard and mouse or other externally connected peripherals. Thanks to touchscreens, we can control computers and devices using our fingers. While you’ve probably used a touchscreen, though, there are some touchscreen facts that may surprise you. Below are five little-known facts about touchscreens.

#1) The HP-150 Was One of the First Touchscreen Computers

Touchscreen computers are older than you may realize. While Microsoft, Dell, Apple and other manufacturers currently offer them, touchscreen computers have been around for decades. One of the first touchscreen computers, in fact, was the HP-150. Released in November 1983, it featured a touch-controlled interface.

#2) Over 90% of Touchscreens Use Capacitive Sensing Technology

There are over a dozen types of sensing technologies that touchscreens use. Sensing technologies, of course, are the method by which touchscreens detect touch commands. With that said, there’s a clear winner in the field of sensing technologies. Research shows that over 90% of all touchscreens manufactured and sold use capacitive sensing. Coming in a distant second is resistive sensing technology, accounting for just 3% of all touchscreens manufactures and sold.

Some of the different sensing technologies in touchscreens include the following:

  • Capacitive
  • Projected capacitive
  • Surface capacitive
  • Mutual capacitive
  • Self-capacitive
  • Resistive
  • Three-wire resistive
  • Four-wire resistive
  • Five-wire resistive
  • Surface acoustic wave (SAW)
  • Infrared (IR) grid

#3) Glass or Plastic Top Layer

Regardless of the sensing technology, nearly all touchscreens have a top layer made of either glass or plastic. Both of these materials are transparent. As a result, images produced by a touchscreen will be visible through the top layer. Capacitive touchscreens typically use a glass top layer. In comparison, resistive and other touchscreens typically use a plastic top layer.

#4) LG Produced the First Touchscreen Phone

Many people assume that Apple was responsible for the world’s first touchscreen phone. While the first-generation iPhone did, in fact, have a touchscreen interface, there was another touchscreen phone that came before it. In May 2007, LG released the Prada. The Prada was the first touchscreen phone, with the iPhone coming shortly thereafter.

#5) Requires Backlighting

You can’t use a touchscreen unless it has backlighting. Backlighting is a requirement for all touchscreens. Without backlighting, you won’t be able to see the images on a touchscreen’s display. Fortunately, there are several backlighting solutions available for touchscreens. Some touchscreens use light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting. LED backlighting consists of several bulbs that, when powered, illuminate the display from behind. LED backlighting can be further enhanced with light guides. Light guides don’t create light. Rather, they distribute light across the display more evenl.