The first computer with a touch screen was launched 40 years ago

Today a touch screen seems like the most normal thing in the world, in fact, you are probably watching this from one, and if not, you will have it very close, since we all use our cell phones daily. However, this was not so common before.

Even so, the first touch screen in a computer was incorporated 40 years ago, in 1983, by HP in a device that was a revolution never seen before, at least at a domestic level, and with the possibility that anyone could do it. have.

hp 150

HP 150, the first computer with a touch screen

It had not been many years since personal computers arrived in homes, in fact, not even 1% of Spaniards had one, however, in 1983 HP wanted to bet on innovation, releasing the first PC with a touch screen, something that was surprising. to many people, because they couldn’t conceive how that could work with just your fingers.

Its name was HP 150, and as you can deduce, its manufacturer was HP , one of the most important companies of the moment and which remains at the top today.

Its monitor was CRT , like the old tube televisions, and it was barely 9 inches . Of course, in monochrome . They innovated, but not enough to produce it in color. Its operation was through infrared rays, when one of these was blocked by an object (in this case our finger) the processor located the position at the point where it would have occurred and “clicked” there.

hp 150

The only drawback of this system was that if dust, hair or any object or dirt accumulated on the surface of the screen, it stopped working. Something similar to when a few drops of water fall on our cell phone and we are not able to make it react correctly. Of course, only by cleaning it did it return to normal, so it was not a very serious problem.
This system made its screen touchable with a pencil, gloves or any object that was not transparent.
It carried the DOS 2.11 operating system , the first HP computer with it, as well as an Intel 8088 microprocessor running at 8 MHz. Its launch price was $2,750 . Of course, 40 years ago the price of money was not the same, so we could be talking about a cost that was almost unaffordable for a modest family. This meant that, although very striking, it will go very unnoticed due to the few sales aimed at a personal computer.
It was not until 2007 when the brand returned to market a computer with a touch screen, the HP TouchSmart IQ770, now in color, flat and 19 inches. It was much more successful, especially because the cost was much closer to people’s budgets.
In any case, although that first HP 150 was not a great success, it marked a before and after in this type of technologies and products. For which we can be grateful to the company. We never thought about it, but without this type of brands and projects, neither you nor I would be reading this news today.