Jason Wilson over at rethinc.k is discussing the evolving world of computer interactions and the reduction of the need for a mouse-driven device and the inevitable use of touch technology. Even the old codger Joe Hodnicki buckled to the touch screen fad when he traded in his Blackberry for a Palm Pre (apparently because he became addicted to the “bubbles” game that came with the Pre.) Whenever I take my children to Fry’s electronics store, the first thing they run to is the HP Touchsmart PC so they can play a game of chess by using their fingers. Even I’ve been using touch screen interfaces more and more (iPad and Android phone). But let’s face it… how comfortable are you to use someone else’s touch screen device after seeing the oily fingerprints that blur the screen??

Now, imagine that the public terminals in your library are all touch screens…. (I’ll give you a minute to stop shuddering at that thought.)

I’ve bought a matte screen protector for my iPad and that has cut down on the ‘disgusting factor’ of the touch screen fingerprints. I have to tell you though, it was extremely difficult to get it to go on straight, and to have it not pick up every little piece of dust or lint that happened to be floating in the air. I actually gave up and took it off for a week because I couldn’t get it to go on without dust getting on the underside and causing nice little bubbles on the screen… no, Joe, not the game-type bubbles… that I had to take the drastic measures of washing the screen with soap in order to get the dust off, then apply it to the screen again. This time I only have a few bubbles on the screen… and I can live with that. Now, imagine having to put one of these protectors on a 23 inch widescreen monitor… (hint, if you do have to put one of these on, make sure that there are no patrons or children under the age of 18 around because you’re language will be R-rated.)

The touch screen era of computers is upon us… make sure you leave room beside the computer for a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer and some pop-up Windex computer screen cleaner!!