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A touchscreen (also spelled touch screen) is
|“||[a] video display screen that has a touch-sensitive transparent panel covering the screen. A user can touch the screen to activate computer functions instead of using a pointing device such as a mouse or light pen.||”|
The term generally refers to touch or contact to the display of the device by a finger or hand. Touchscreens can also sense other passive objects, such as a pen. The ability to interact physically with what is shown on a display (a form of "direct manipulation") typically indicates the presence of a touchscreen.
The touchscreen has two main attributes. First, it enables one to interact with what is displayed directly on the screen, where it is displayed, rather than indirectly with a mouse or touchpad. Second, it lets one do so without requiring any intermediate device such as a stylus that needs to be held in the hand. Such displays can be attached to computers or, as terminals, to networks. They also play a prominent role in the design of digital appliances such as the personal digital assistant (PDA), satellite navigation devices, mobile phones, and video games.
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