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Part VI: APPENDIXES > SPECIFIC TOUCH-SCREEN HARDWARE NUANCES AND TECHNOLOGIES

SPECIFIC TOUCH-SCREEN HARDWARE NUANCES AND TECHNOLOGIES

Now that we have covered the hardware and manufacturers that are out there, let’s cover some specific models to get a better idea about the details of the technologies. This appendix focuses on a few models from Elo TouchSystems (www.elotouch.com) as this company covers each type of technology available and all its models work well on all the platforms on which the Flash authoring tools are available, with the notable exception of driver availability for Mac OS X. (See the information earlier in the chapter about Troll Touch for a touch-screen vendor who caters to Mac users and has announced a tentative release of OS X–compatible drivers for its products.) The Elo TouchSystems screens plug directly into any standard VGA monitor port on a PC or Macintosh. Older Macs with built-in video cards that do not utilize the DB-15 VGA connector standard can use an inexpensive adapter to allow the connection of the touch-screen monitor cable. The touch-screen input is sent to the computer via a serial or USB connection (depending on your need and model you purchase) that plugs into your computer and with the help of a driver becomes your new mouse. Yes, you can still use your existing mouse or input device right along side of it as long as you have enough ports to connect them at the same time. This is ideal for testing your Flash application throughout the entire development process. The USB versions are also ideal for this in that you can typically have more USB devices connected to a computer than serial devices. (Another note about Troll Touch is that its products have native support for older ADB-based Macintosh computers. What better way to utilize that old Mac IIci sitting in your closet than as a touch-screen controller for your home appliances).

The installation process of the drivers is simple, and the drivers are available on the web at any time from the Elo TouchSystems web site at www.elotouch.com. Once installed, it only requires a simple restart before you calibrate and use the touch screen for input. The two types of models mentioned are differentiated in several ways. Elo offers standard CRT tubes and also flat panel LCD models. The flat LCDs are great for embedding into kiosk enclosures due to their lower heat output and smaller size. Both of those can be crucial in the design of the physical presence of your kiosk. The CRT and LCD versions are available from Elo in the four different technologies mentioned previously plus a fifth specialized version of the SAW type. Elo has a brand name associated with each type of technology to differentiate itself.


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