Touchscreens are often a feature or upgrade option on rugged, mobile computers that are not offered on commercial, plastic computers. Basically, a touchscreen is another way to move around in an application other than the keyboard/mouse. In the rugged computer world, touch screens come in two flavors – the more traditional finger-touch style of touch screen also called passive or resistive, and the newer style digitizer or active touch screen which requires the use of a stylus pen and allows for handwriting or signature capture directly on the screen of the ruggedized laptop, handheld, or tablet. Some manufacturers offer rugged computer models with one or the other type while others offer a dual-mode which provides both types in the same computer.
Touchscreens are often a desirable feature for in-vehicle computers or for any ruggedized in-field computer used in an environment where typing is difficult. Some organizations develop or purchase software that is specifically designed with a touchscreen in mind that will have big touch buttons on the screen (think about an ATM machine or restaurant cash register for example).