iPhone and the Season of Discontent by Virginia Rubey

When the iPhone 3GS was released last summer, having real convergence at your fingertips was intoxicating to smitten consumers. But after a few blissful months, winter came, and the iPhone forced an ultimatum on its admirers: your gloves or me.

  • The implicit demand left some consumers cool after the summer romance.

Still, it’s hard to deny the appeal of the new touch screen. Older “touch” screens used resistive technology. They were, in essence, “press” screens that only registered a single point of contact when users pushed two separate conductive, and resistive, metallic layers together. The technology required your fingers - or a stylus - to serve as a makeshift mouse, with tedious scrolling and maneuvering to complete a single task.

The capacitive touch screen technology offered with the 3GS operates via a single screen that stores electrical charge and responds to electric currents. When your finger touches the screen, it absorbs some of the electric charge, immediately indicating the point of contact regardless of temperature. The capacitive touch screen allows users to quickly scroll through Twitter and other feeds, zoom in and out of images with a simple gesture, and, because there is a single layer, it presents a brighter, clearer image than its resistive ancestors.

In fact, despite complaints of frozen fingers, the cold weather hasn’t deterred consumers from pursuing a relationship with the iPhone.

In the fourth fiscal quarter of 2009 (ending 09/26/09), Apple reported 7.4 million iPhone sales. In the first quarter of 2010 (ending 12/26/09), the company reported 8.7 million.

Consumers and technology professionals are buzzing about it. According to Oscar Wilde, “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.” The iPhone seems to have retained its status as this season’s trendsetter, with entrepreneurs racing to fit in where Apple has left a gap.

Jerry Leto invented Touchtec nanotechnology, which “bridges an awkward gap between humans and machines.” The capacitive properties found in the leather of iTouch gloves allows consumers to use their iPhones and wear gloves, simultaneously. The gloves start at $99.95.

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.