Trivia Tuesday: Apple invention misconceptionsBy Steven Parker 13 comments
For the fourth Trivia Tuesday over at Neowin, this week they are exploring some of the things you might think Apple invented, but actually didn't at all. These invention misconceptions are just a brief collection of what people may generally think Apple have invented, but we're sure there are many more that aren't covered here.
The capacitive touchscreen: this was a highlight of the original Apple iPhone, which touted its smartphone capabilities by saying you can actually use it with a finger rather than stylus as the norm was at the time. Rather than using two thin films between the user and display to sense a stylus, capacitive touchscreens measure the distortion in the screen's electrostatic field created when your conductive fingers touch the screen's special coating.
The original type of touchscreen was, interestingly, a capacitive type invented way back in 1965 by E.A. Johnson at the Royal Radar Establishment in the UK; unfortunately they were quite expensive to produce and so the resistive-type touchscreen was the cheaper and more common occurrence pretty much up until the iPhone. However, the invention of the capacitive touchscreen predates the existence of Apple, so they couldn't have possibly invented it.
This is the Psion MC 400 with an early touchpad. Note that it's above the keyboard unlike modern touchpads
While we're on touch technology, Apple also didn't invent the touchpad. Used as the primary form of mouse-like movement on modern notebook computers, the touchpad was actually invented by Psion for their MC series notebooks in 1989; however the touchpads used in the early Apple PowerBooks were based on early developments in the field.
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