Over the summer MacCentral brought readers news that LCD display maker Planar Systems Inc. planned to bring its new line of touch screen LCD displays to the Mac. Since then, MacCentral has confirmed that the previous report was in error.
The line as introduced last August consisted of 15, 17 and 19-inch LCD screens with resolutions ranging from 1024 x 768 to 1280 x 1024 pixels. Planar aimed the new displays at applications like information kiosks, point of sale terminals and other spots where users would prefer to directly contact the screen rather than interact with a mouse or a keyboard.
“Planar is working on the drivers and expects to have full Mac support across its PT line in three months,” a spokesman told MacCentral at the time. Recently, MacCentral followed up with Planar to find out the status of that support, and received disappointing news.
“Regarding the drivers, we provided you with an estimate that wasn’t in our control to deliver upon, so we apologize for any confusion this might have caused. Planar would love to offer Mac drivers and support Mac users, but in this particular case, we don’t actually develop the software. The touch screen drivers that interface with the touch panels themselves are sourced from the people who design and manufacture that component,” explained a Planar spokesman.
As it turns out, only one touch screen system in Planar’s arsenal — the PT1503NT — sports Mac OS support. And unfortunately, the driver software is limited to Mac OS 9 support only. That particular model uses resistive touch technology developed by ELO Touchsystems, which is why it works on the Mac, said Planar.
In all other cases, Planar’s touch screen displays utilize technology developed by Fujitsu or 3M, according to the company, and those developers do not offer the Mac any touch screen driver support.
Users interested in customizing their Mac systems with touch screen input may want to drop by Troll Touch’s Web site. The company manufactures custom solutions designed to work with Mac displays and provide support for Mac OS X and Mac OS 9.