Where do you think the first vision of touch technology comes from? All I come up with are from film and t.v. shows, for example tablets the earliest I can think of is Star Trek The Next Generation. What about gesture control as made famous in Minority Report? Did Phillip Dick mention that in the book? There must be early literary references with this concept. What would be the earliest example?

  • Check this out: technovelgy.com/ct/Science_List_Detail.asp?BT=Computer - I don't know if they have the erliest examples, though. Was the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy before star treck next generation or after?
    – Arie
    Apr 5, 2013 at 6:44
  • Earlier. Much earlier. 1978 for HHG, 1987 for Encounter at Farpoint.
    – KeithS
    Apr 5, 2013 at 18:53
  • 1
    And to answer your question, no. No he didn't mention it in the book; it was a short story anyway, with not much in the way of advanced computers, futuristic cars etc. Just the plot.
    – Mr Lister
    Apr 6, 2013 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


I don't know if this is what you are looking for, but real life (or at least real speculation) predated fiction in this regard. Vannevar Bush predicted touch-screen technology in his paper "As We May Think" in the Atlantic Monthly, July 1945

  • "Fictional origins" is the subject. Apr 7, 2013 at 22:25

The usual example given was Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 novel Return From the Stars where they had a touch-based e-reader (think Kindle). Definitely predates ST:TNG.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.