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- 11 мар 1998 (Возраст: 25)
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Tapping into touch screens
- День рождения:
- 11 мар 1998 (Возраст: 25)
Most of us are pretty familiar with touch screens. We use this
technology daily with our phones, computers, at the ATM, or at the
grocery store checkout. Even restaurants have implemented touch
display ordering and payment right at the table. Even though we’re
constantly tapping and swiping our screens all day long, few of us
can actually answer the question: how do touch screens work?
We’re here to help uncover the mystery behind these interactive
screens. Together, we can finally dispel the rumor that touch screens
are operated by miniature robot elves completing your pointer finger
’s many commands. Let’s discuss the most common touch screen
technologies, how you can differentiate them, how they work, and how
these technologies have impacted our daily lives.
Capacitive vs resistive touch screens
With the first touch screen debuting in 1965, we’ve seen incredible
advancements in touch screen technology and computing technology in
general. If we told E.A. Johnson that over 2 billion people currently
carry touch screens in their pockets every day, he probably wouldn’t
have believed us. But that same technology he developed for the Royal
Radar Establishment helped shape the future of the modern touch
screen technology that we use daily .
There are many iterations of touch screen technology including
infrared and surface acoustic wave (SAW), but there are two that most
of us are familiar with. The most common
touch board screens we interact with today are capacitive and
resistive touch screens. Let’s get to know how these technologies
work, and where you’ll see each.
Capacitive touch screen technology is the style we interact with
most. This is the kind of display we see in our smartphones, laptops,
and tablet screens, and digital signage.
Capacitive screens are made up of multiple layers of glass and
plastic, coated with a conductor material like indium tin oxide or
copper. This conductive material responds when contacted by another
electrical conductor, like your bare finger. When you touch your
screen, an electric circuit is completed at the point where your
finger makes contact, changing the electrical charge at this
location. Your device registers this information as a “touch event.
Once a touch event has been registered, the screen’s receptors
signal this event to the operating system, prompting a response from
your device. This is the application’s interface that you
Capacitive touch screens generally have a brighter, clearer
appearance and are much more sensitive than resistive touch
screens. We tend to see capacitive touch screens in more modern
technologies like smartphones and tablets. They give us the ability
to experience high-quality imagery that imitates reality.
With social media so integrated into our lives, we’re constantly
sharing and experiencing life through our devices. Being able to
interact with high-quality applications with ease is made possible
with the latest capacitive touch screens.
Resistive touch screens
Resistive touch screens work exactly how their name implies - with
resistance to touch. A glass or hard plastic layer is blanketed by a
resistive metallic layer that conducts charge. The two are separated
by spacers in the screen so that when your finger presses firmly on
the plastic protective layer, the two layers make contact changing
the electric charge at that location, which cues the software to
Resistive screens are not as bright as capacitive because of
their thick blue and yellow colored layers that make their interface
appear darker than capacitive screens. You’ll often see resistive
screens used on ATM machines, checkout stands, and POS (point of
sale) terminals. They tend to be much more durable and affordable
than capacitive screens, thanks to that hard plastic outer layer.
Each screen has strengths and weaknesses that make it a better
choice for certain applications. Capacitive screens with
offer more flexibility in functionality as resistive screens
lack the ability to register multiple touch points at the same time.
Think about when you zoom in on your smartphone - you’re using
two fingers at different receptors to zoom in on an image. Resistive
touch screens get confused when you try to apply multiple points to
them, since their technology relies on recognizing pressure at a
What touch screens detect
What touch displays detect differs depending on if the screen is
capacitive or resistive. Resistive screens rely on applied pressure
which means that sometimes the tip of a pen or another object can
initiate a response from the system. Capacitive touch screens use
electrical conductors rather than pressure to recognize a command and
But have you ever wondered why capacitive touch screens seem to only
work with skin? While that’s not entirely the case, capacitive
screens do depend on a specific amount of electrical charge to get a
response from the operating system.
This means that other objects with the same charge as your bare
finger could complete the same request when using your phone, tablet,
or interactive touch
screen laptop. This is why touch screens respond to styluses,
special gloves, and the occasional pocket-dial.
Before you slip on a pair of gloves ready to text all of your friends
about how awesome your new gloves are though, you may want to make
sure you’ve got the right pair. Touch screen gloves use conductive
thread in the fingertips to maintain the natural electric charge of
your finger. This means that not just any glove will be able to
register your touch, so make sure you get the right kind of gloves
before braving the winter with your smartphone.
While conductive threads and styluses work with touch displays, other
objects like a regular pen will not. The difference is in the
electric charge of the object. Pens actually have too much electrical
charge for a touch screen to recognize. Your screen depends on the
perfect recipe of electric charge to complete your requests.
Fascinating, isn’t it?
If touch screens work based on their ability to conduct and receive
energy, how do touch screen protectors work?
Capacitive touch screens detect electrical current so they don’t
need to experience the pressure of your finger like resistive screens
do. If your screen protector uses electrically transparent material,
it won’t affect the functionality of your screen because it will
still be able to register the change in electric charge.
The good news is that as technology in touch screens has advanced, so
have their durability. Touch
TV Screen protectors aren’t as necessary now as they were when
consumers were first introduced to touch screen products. Many of us
are still scarred by the first time we shattered the glass display on
our shiny new device. Contrary to over-protective techies, you don’t
need to worry so much about the safety of your screen thanks to
developments in materials.
Most devices use scratch-resistant material like Gorilla? Glass to
protect your screen if it takes a short tumble - though we do not
recommend testing your screen’s limits. It’s a durable glass, not
the Incredible Hulk. For those who may be coordination-challenged,
screen protectors are still a good option to keep your screen in
Most screen protectors are either made of plastic or tempered glass.
Plastic protectors help to protect from scratching but don’t do much
for impact. If you’re one of those coordination-challenged
individuals we mentioned earlier, you may want to consider leveling
up to a tempered glass protector, and maybe even a sturdy case to go
along with it.
Depending on the thickness of the plastic, you may feel a difference
in the sensitivity of your touch screen. Tempered glass adds a thick
layer to your screen as well, but the feel is closer to your device’
s original screen.