Touchscreen basics: How they Work?

smartphone and tablets

More then 90% of the Smartphones and all tablets are now based on Touchscreen Technology. From small sizes of 3 inches to large 20 Inch tablets like Panasonic 4K resolution tab, the touchscreens are a standard now. We all know how to operate a touchscreen but the focus of this post to make you understand How does a Touchscreen Work.

Touchscreen smartphones

There are TWO major classifications of Touchscreens, known as
1. Resistive Touchscreen
2. Capacitive Touchscreen
1. Resistive Touchscreen

 The resistive touchscreen technology is relatively older as compared to the Capacitive Touchscreen and is used in Public Touchscreen displays like ATMs and smartphones like Nokia 5230 & LG Optimus.

Resistive Touchscreen

The Resistive Technology of touchscreens works on a pressure based Touch. The touchscreen consists of a two conducting layers separated by Spacer dots. The Top film (the one we touch) is a  Flexible plastic film, which upon applying pressure, comes in contact with the inner conducting layer. When the Two layers make contact, the electric field change is then noted and translated to the Operating System.

  • Low Cost
  • Can Offer multitouch feature
  • Operated with Finger, Gloves or stylus
  • Requires periodic recalibration
  • Can wear through regular use over time
  • Prone to Damage
  • poorer responsiveness to light touches
2. Capacitive Touchscreen

The Capacitive technology is another form of touchscreen technology widely used esp. in Cellphones. In fact all modern day smartphones are based on Capacitive Touchscreen including the iPhones, Samsung Galaxy Series and Nokia Lumia.

Capacitive Touchscreen

The Capacitive touchscreen technology works on the basis of conduction. Beneath the touchscreen glass is a conductive layer which has current being applied from all 4 corners of the screen. When a finger (also conductive) touches the screen, the electric field distortion occurs and the current being applied from all 4 directions is used to locate the Touch.

  • High Responsiveness
  • sensitive touch
  • High Cost
  • Cant be used with gloved hands or stylus
Currently Capacitive touchscreen is the dominant technology in the market of smartphones and tablets and has taken over from Resistive Touchscreens due to high responsiveness and much better user experience.

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