Touchscreen technology similar to what is found in the new iPad will be hot among schools and school children, a leading technology research company has predicted.
Gartner claim that more than half of all computers destined for children will use a touchscreen by 2015, due in part to the iPad, and over 50 per cent of the systems sold for use by children below age 15 will have some kind of touch. The rapid shift should come simply because younger audiences consider touch more natural than their parents, who are still used to a mouse and keyboard; Apple is helping to lay a groundwork for the younger generation.
Home users and schools are also more likely to gravitate towards touchscreens, since there are both fewer barriers to adoption and a younger overall group. Education may find it crucial as they may need both finger input, for children just learning to use computers, as well as pen input for math equations and other diagrams that can’t be written with just a keyboard. Apple’s interface for the iPad is built around finger control but supports capacitive pens.
Up to 75 per cent of schools may require some level of touch by 2015, according to the schools joining in Gartner’s study.
The only group most likely to hold out will be large-scale business, which could see less than two per cent of its computers carrying some form of touch. Most legacy apps don’t recognise touch, and many of the older employees are too familiar with the mouse to easily adapt to touchscreens. Those that do will likely be working with graphs and other visual sets at first, though this could lead to changes in the long term.
Today, touchscreens beyond the iPad are mostly limited to convertible tablet notebooks, as well as a handful of all-in-ones and netbooks, many of which come from ASUS, Dell and HP.