Ever think about how many times you use a touch screen every day? You see touch screen control panels wherever you turn – from cell phones to computers and even home security systems. It’s designed to accomplish tasks with little effort and to make life a little easier. Perhaps it makes us more efficient as well, since controlling devices and staying connected is only a fingerprint away at any given time. If you can improve the safety of your home my merely touching a screen, what else is possible?

While we’re always looking to the future of technology and home automation, it’s always interesting to look back at its origins. Check out this brief history of the touch screen!

1965 – The First Touch Screen Control Panel

The E. A. Johnson Touch Screen is widely considered to be world’s first. It was created by E. A. Johnson of London’s Royal Radar Establishment and uses similar technology of touch screens today, but could only read one touch at a time.

1983 – Video Place

Fast forward to the early 80’s and this technology gets just as colorful and “80’s music video-esque” as you’re imagining. Myron Krueger developed technology that actually tracks hand movements and allows users to manipulate a screen using hand gestures.

1998 – Simon Personal Communicator Phone

Not to be confused with the powerful home security control panel Simon XT, the Simon Personal Communicator Phone was a collaboration between IBM and telephone company BellSouth to create a mobile phone with a built-in touch screen. This device allowed users to access email and make calls, had a calculator and even a digital calendar.

2007 – Apple iPhone

This now ubiquitous device was the first successful touch screen smartphone to be introduced into the marketplace. Its sleek design and ease of use made it a smash hit with consumers and continues to dominate the smartphone market.


Today – Simon XT Touch Screen

This home control center is one of the latest devices designed to make commanding one’s home security extremely easy and user-friendly. Arming, disarming and checking different sections of one’s house is as simple as tapping an icon on the Simon XT Touch Screen Control Panel. This touch screen technology interacts with every other devices in the home, including motion detectors, to update you in real time with specific information (verbally, if you wish). It even interacts with a hands-free feature called “digital voice commands” for those times when you’re unable to check for something on the main control panel.

Touch Screen Control Panel for home security system