x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Morning fridge, how are you today?

The Life: Touchscreens are now all around us - not just on smartphones and tablets.

Gigaset will launch a touchscreen home phone in the UAE this month. Courtesy Gigaset Communications
Gigaset will launch a touchscreen home phone in the UAE this month. Courtesy Gigaset Communications

For an example of how prevalent touchscreens have become, it is worth a click - or tap - on the YouTube hit titled "A magazine is an iPad that does not work."

The video, which has been viewed more than 3.5 million times, shows a baby prodding a magazine, seemingly frustrated that its printed pages do not move like they would on a tablet. Multi-touch gestures, popularised by Apple devices, are apparently so intuitive that they are second nature even to a one-year-old child.

While mobile phones and tablets may have brought the touchscreen to the masses, more and more devices are now incorporating such technology. These include touchscreen dining tables, high-tech watches and even home appliances.

Samsung makes a fridge with a 8-inch touchscreen, which supports apps to display pictures, access recipes or get the latest weather.

Gigaset, the German phone manufacturer, recently announced in Dubai the launch of a touchscreen home phone. The Dh699 (US$190) handset, due for launch in the UAE this month, has full touch operation, an 8.1cm screen, and some of the features you would expect of a smartphone, such as an address book and Bluetooth. Consumers accustomed to the iPhone-style interface want the same experience at home, says Hassan Palandonken, the regional vice president of sales at Gigaset Communications.

Mr Palandonken says the phone is the first of a series of touchscreen devices Gigaset is producing.

"Home automation, home security will be the next series we will look at," he says.

Future devices are likely to support applications such as those available on Google's Android store, he adds.

bflanagan@thenational.ae