I was told that any monitor could be turned into a touch screen if you have the right software. This has got to be old news, or even a myth. Please shed some light on this if you can. Am I wrong?

My primary question is which cable would normally be used to hook up a touch screen. Would you need 2 cables for this (one for the monitor, one to receive touch events?), or is a single cable going to have data in both directions (perhaps an HDMI?)


That's a myth.

You can transform a normal monitor into a touchscreen with proper hardware (usually an additional layer that has to be glued on the monitor. this layer is connected via usb)

  • Software and drivers would then convert the touch responses detected on the screen to areas of the GUI/software to determine where and what the cursor is doing. Most would 'track' movement (you can hover your finger above the screen) and then detect a 'press' as a 'click'. Having the right software is only part of the process. – HaydnWVN Oct 2 '12 at 16:09

From previous experience (in UK Primary Schools doing Support late 1990's early 2000's) there were several types of connection in use, the majority used serial with an occasional proparety connection with an add-in card (I'm talking Win95/98 era). I even saw one connected via the 'Joystick port'.

There were 'overlay' type devices for CRT monitors which were very troublesome (mostly due to drivers/software), the best devices were integrated into CRT's and used a secondary serial cable to connect to a port. Some VGA cables were available integrating the serial connection - but were hugely expensive.

When I stopped supporting (end of contract) USB connected devices were becoming more of a standard - software and drivers were much better, although the monitors used were still CRT's with integrated touch overlays as TFT's were very new (and expensive). In theory any TFT could be 'converted' to touch by sending it away, but suppliers had preferred makes/models they tended to use.

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