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Welcome to the Glass Age

Photo by Yulianto Poitier from Pexels

In 2010, my Dad bought each of my sons an iPad. This was also the same year the iPad first generation was shipping (my Dad was always on top of the latest tech trend - runs in the family 😊) These iPads were disruptive but in a good way. My town was listed as #5 in the nation for highest percentage of iPad owners. And since I am a technologist, I jumped into action.

At that time, I was homeschooling dad to three boys, so I sought out a local Mac professional to come to my home and train my whole family on how to print, share and manage documents on the iPad. This was fascinating, and we really put these tablets to work years before the local school district adopted this device as a standard years later. I then started a series of classes branded “iLearn,” which educated new users on the use of touch and the interactive iPad and the power behind them.

All this said, it is now 2018 and I want to bring you up-to-speed on “glass,” which is the primary substance of the iPad, of course. Presently, glass is also the main substance for interactive touch screens and white boards, which are common in most new meeting and training rooms, hotels, churches, etc.

The History of Tools – Stone, Bronze and Iron

As I shared, I was a homeschool dad for many years and I find that children’s websites for learning seem to state new information in the simplest form. Lin Donn, on her website, Archaeology for Kids, shares a brief history of the use of tools. She states, “The Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age are three periods of history identified by the way people made tools and weapons. Different ancient civilizations developed at different speeds. So, you might have one group of early people using bronze tools, while another group was still using stone tools. Those with better tools had a much easier time conquering other groups of people. The material used to make tools and weapons most definitely had an influence on daily life in ancient times.”

Touchscreens and the Glass Age

Information now moves at the speed of light. All day and every day, millions of people access information via their mobile devices. More often than not, these mobile devices have touch screen technology. The following is a succinct description of touchscreens from the website, TechTerms.

A touchscreen is a display that also serves as an input device. Some touchscreens require a proprietary pen for input, though most modern touchscreens detect human touch. Since touchscreen devices accept input directly through the screen, they do not require external input devices, such as mice and keyboards. This makes touchscreens ideal for computer kiosks, as well as portable devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

While a touchscreen may look like an ordinary display, the screen includes several extra layers that detect input. The first layer is a hard protective layer that protects the actual display and the touchscreen components. Beneath the protective layer is an electronic grid that detects input. Most modern touchscreens use capacitive material for this grid, in which the electrical charge changes wherever the screen is touched. Beneath the touchscreen layer is the LCD layer, which is used for the actual display.

While early touchscreens could only detect a single point of input at a time, modern touchscreens support "multi-touch" input. This technology, which was made popular by the original iPhone, enables the screen to detect multiple finger motions at once. For example, on some touchscreen devices, you can rotate an image by twisting three fingers in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion. Many touchscreen applications also allow you zoom in and out by spreading two fingers apart or pinching them together.

Thanks to multi-touch and other improvements in touchscreen technology, today's touchscreens are easier and more natural to use than they used to be. In fact, improved touchscreen technology has greatly contributed to the popularity of the iPad and other tablet PCs.

An Exciting Future Awaits!

Corning, the world’s leading innovators in materials science, seems to be at the fore-front of glass science and the use of glass in future technologies. On their website, curious readers can research further about the Glass Age including the science of glass, design and application, and how glass is inspiring both engineers and artists. A few industries highlighted are cars, health, home and office, and virtual reality. Imagine all the avenues of partnership AV will have with these industries.

Truly, we will transform society and culture.

Tony, the AV Guy

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