Understanding Touch Screens: Types and Differences
What is a Touch Screen?
A touch screen is a display device that allows the user to interact with a computer or other electronic device by touching areas on the screen. Touch screens are a popular feature in many types of consumer electronics, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops, due to their convenience and intuitive use.
Types of Touch Screens
Resistive Touch Screen
Resistive touch screens work by having two flexible layers with an air gap in between. When you press on the screen, the two layers make contact, and the coordinates of the touch point are calculated. These types of screens are durable, affordable, and work with any type of touch (finger, stylus, etc.), but they offer lower clarity and require more force to register a touch compared to other technologies.
Capacitive Touch Screen
Capacitive touch screens consist of a glass panel coated with a transparent conductor. When a capacitive object, such as a human finger, touches the screen, it alters the local electrostatic field and the system calculates the coordinates of the touch point. Capacitive screens offer higher clarity and sensitivity than resistive screens, but they only respond to finger touch or a special stylus designed for capacitive screens.
Infrared Touch Screen
Infrared touch screens use a grid of infrared light beams. When an object interrupts the infrared light beams, the system calculates the coordinates of the touch point. These screens offer high clarity and can detect any type of touch, but they can be affected by dust, dirt, or bright light.
Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Touch Screen
SAW touch screens use ultrasonic waves that pass over the screen panel. When a touch is made, a portion of the wave is absorbed, and the change in the ultrasonic waves is processed to determine the location of the touch. They offer excellent clarity and high durability, but they can be affected by outside elements such as dirt, dust, or water.
Differences Between Touch Screen Types
Each type of touch screen has its unique characteristics, advantages, and shortcomings. Resistive screens are affordable and versatile, but less sensitive and clear. Capacitive screens offer excellent sensitivity and clarity but can only detect finger touch or a special stylish. Infrared screens are versatile and clear but can be affected by external conditions. SAW screens provide high durability and clarity but can also be affected by outside elements.