Over at Gartner, the company that prides itself in predicting the future of computing in our society, they have issued a report about touch screen sales. The report claims that by the year 2015, 50% of teens and younger will be using touch screen computers for their personal use. The report also goes on to say that consumers and not the enterprise will be using touch screen computers for entertainment and media. No surprise with that fact. I seriously doubt that many companies are going to buy devices or computers to entertain their employees with.

In addition, the report states:

As prices drop, education will become a major market for touch and pen-enabled devices. Younger children just entering school find direct manipulation on the screen a natural way to interact with their computers. Older students are already using pen input to annotate class material or capture formulae and graphics that can’t be recorded with keyboards (for math, chemistry and physics classes, among others). However, most school districts do not want to support two separate devices — one for touch and another for pen. To deal with the differing requirements of the different grades, most districts are looking for dual-input screens that support both touch and pen in a single device.

“Consensus among the Gartner client U.S. school districts is that over half, and possibly as many as 75 percent, will be specifying touch and/or pen input within the next five years,” said Ms. Fiering. “Consider this as the precursor to a major upcoming generational shift in how users relate to their computing devices.”

Interesting. But what about those over the age of 15 years old?

Last evening I was at a local Best buy and took an iPad for a quick spin. I found the touch screen easy to use and I enjoyed playing with it. I personally believe that I could see myself using a touch screen computer. The only issue I have is fingerprints. The iPad I used looked like someone had rubbed butter on the screen! I think one would need to keep either tissues handy or a microfiber cloth around if fingerprints drive you nuts like they do me.

What about you? Is a touch screen in your future?