斯坦尼斯拉夫·莱姆在 1961 年的《Return from the Stars》第三章里描写的“opton”是触屏电子书：
The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They could be read with the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it. But optons were little used, the sales-robot told me.
阿西莫夫在 1951 年的《基地》第四章里描写的“calculator pad”可能是触屏设备，可能有若干实体按键：
"Before you are done with me, young man, you will learn to apply psychohistory to all problems as a matter of course. –Observe." Seldon removed his calculator pad from the pouch at his belt. Men said he kept one beneath his pillow for use in moments of wakefulness. Its gray, glossy finish was slightly worn by use. Seldon's nimble fingers, spotted now with age, played along the files and rows of buttons that filled its surface. Red symbols glowed out from the upper tier.
Vannevar Bush 在 1945 年 7 月发表于《大西洋月刊》的文章《As We May Think》预测了触摸屏技术（这不是一篇科幻小说）。
EA Johnson 于 1965 年至 1967 年间在英国马尔文皇家雷达研究所发明了电容式触摸屏，1968 年发表。二十世纪七十年代，早期的商用触屏设备问世。
电阻式触摸屏于 1982 年在诺克斯维尔的世界博览会上首次展出。同年夏上映的迪士尼科幻动作冒险电影《Tron》里出现了触摸屏：
此外，海茵莱茵在 1941 年的《Orphans of the Sky》第一部分《Universe》里描写了非按钮控件：
……He traced the design on the door without touching it, moving his forefinger through the air perhaps four inches from the surface of the door.The order of succession in which his finger moved over the lines of the design appeared simple but certainly not obvious.
……The long-forgotten engineer-designers employed by the Jordan Foundation had been instructed to design a ship that would not—couldnot—wear out, even though the Trip were protracted beyond the expected sixty years. They builded better than they knew. In planning the main drive engines and the auxiliary machinery, largely automatic, which would make the Ship habitable, and in designing the controls necessary to handle all machinery not entirely automatic the very idea of moving parts had been rejected. The engines and auxiliary equipment worked on a level below mechanical motion, on a level of pure force, as electrical transformers do. Instead of push buttons, levers, cams, and shafts, the controls and the machinery they served were planned in terms of balance between static fields, bias of electronic flow, circuits broken or closed by a hand placed over a light.
这比晶体管的发明早 6 年。