Types of Touch Screens

Touch screen

Types of Touch Screens

A touch screen is a display that is sensitive to the touch of a finger or stylus. It is commonly found in many electronic devices such as phones, tablets and computers.

There are three main types of touchscreens. These include resistive, capacitive and surface wave (SAW).


Infrared touch screens use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photodetectors to detect touches on the screen. These LEDs are invisible to the naked eye, and when a user touches the screen, they disrupt the LEDs, which allows the device to track where the touch occurred.

Unlike other technologies, infrared touchscreens are environment-friendly and can work in areas that are subject to humidity or water. They also are more tolerant to electromagnetic and magnetic noises than other types of touch screens.

This type of technology is a good choice for educational institutions and organizations that are sensitive to the elements. In addition, it is easier to maintain than other types of touch screen technology.

The infrared light can penetrate through a glass, so it is not affected by scratches and dust. It is also immune to the fading effects of UV radiation.

It is a good choice for applications that need high-definition and bright images, such as presentations and digital signage. It also works well with multi-touch gestures.

Infrared technology can support up to 40 touch points, so it is an ideal solution for Touch screen larger interactive displays. In addition, it has a short response time of less than 8ms, which is accurate and quick to respond with actions.

This technology can be used on a variety of large-scale applications, such as ATMs, factory automation, plant control system, ticketing machines, medical equipment, Kiosk, POS, and interactive whiteboards.

IR touch screens are a good choice for large-scale applications because they are inexpensive compared to other types of technology. They can also be custom designed to fit any size and shape of display.

Another great advantage of IR touch screens is that they are very responsive and require no calibration to function properly. They also do not require a lot of maintenance, and do not have bezels to attract dust.

Despite these advantages, IR touch screens may encounter some challenges in certain environments that are prone to accumulation of dust. This could tamper with the LEDs and sensors or cause the screen to become inoperable. However, this can easily be remedied by regularly cleaning the screen and its bezels.


Rather than using a liquid crystal display, some touchscreens use sound to register a touch. They’re called surface acoustic wave (SAW) screens.

SAW technology projects ultrasonic sound waves across the display, which are invisible to the human eye. The device’s controller electronics identifies the location of the touch by detecting when the ultrasonic sound waves are interrupted and absorbed by the user’s finger or stylus.

The X-axis and Y-axis coordinates of the touch are calculated from these reflected sound waves. This system works well on larger, clearer displays and isn’t affected by light.

Another form of sound-based touch recognition is acoustic pulse recognition or dispersive signal technology, both of which use multiple piezoelectric transducers to determine the touch location on the screen. These technologies require a preprocessing step to store and process large amounts of data in the memory.

These systems are also susceptible to measurement variance and mounting dependency, both of which affect the accuracy of the touch detection. Additionally, they can only support a single touch and may not be able to hold the touch position after a touch is made.

A SAW touchscreen consists of one glass sheet with transmitting and receiving transducers, reflectors, and receivers that generate acoustic waves that travel across the panel’s surface. When a finger is placed on the screen, the touch absorbing material absorbs the ultrasonic waves and sends them back to their origin. The acoustic receivers in the sensor’s perimeter then receive the reflected sound waves and identify the location of the touch.

You can disable the touch sounds and haptic feedback on your phone by heading to Settings > Sounds and Haptics on iOS or the Sounds and Shaping tab in Android. There, you can turn off things like Vibrate on tap to save some battery power, Screen locking sounds since they’re pointless, and Dial pad tones to prevent your phone from ringing every time you dial someone.


Capacitive technology is used on touch screens to detect the location of a finger’s touch. This type of technology can be found in many different types of devices, from computers to televisions and more.

When your finger touches the screen, the conductive material creates a small change in electricity that’s stored inside the glass. The processors in the device then use this change to determine where your touch is located.

The touchscreen is also designed to be waterproof, meaning that dirt and moisture aren’t able to penetrate through the material. This makes it easy to clean and maintain, which is a key benefit of this type of technology.

There are two basic types of capacitive touchscreens, surface and projective. In surface capacitance, a thin voltage-conductive layer sits on one side of an insulator, whereas projected capacitive uses a matrix of conductive layers that are separated and crossed to each other in the shape of a grid pattern.

In either case, a suitably designed touch controller monitors the conductive layers for changes when your finger is near them. It then detects where the touch occurred and sends an appropriate response.

This allows for a high level of accuracy and can be used to detect multiple touches at once. However, it’s important to note that this technology can be a little more difficult to operate than other types of touch screen.

As a result, some manufacturers are designing their own solutions to address this problem. These solutions can be either a hardware or software solution.

A software-based approach involves a series of algorithms that work together to identify the touch location, then carry out the appropriate action. This can be anything from displaying an alert to opening a web page or performing other tasks.

These systems are also more durable than other types of touch screens, making them a great choice for kiosks and other applications. They’re also known for their excellent optical quality, which helps to support crisp, clear images and video.

The best way to clean a capacitive touchscreen is to dampen a soft cloth with isopropyl alcohol or a mild nonabrasive soap and water solution and then wipe the screen and edge dry. Avoid using a dry cloth, as it may damage the surface of the display.


Resistive technology is one of the most popular types of touch screens used in industrial applications. It has many advantages, including low cost, high response rate Touch screen and flexibility when it comes to touch inputs.

It is very durable and resists water and other substances. In addition, it is easy to drive and integrate into a variety of application designs.

This technology works by detecting changes in electrical resistance caused by pressure. The layers of a resistive touch screen are separated by air gaps and are coated with conductive materials like indium tin oxide (ITO).

When you press on the top layer, it makes contact with the bottom layer, closing a circuit. When this happens, the controller detects it and registers the X and Y coordinates of the touch.

The circuit can be made up of four wires in an analog configuration or five wires in a matrix configuration. In both cases, the bottom layer has electrodes on the four corners. Each of the electrodes is connected to a sensing wire embedded in the top layer. When any area of the two layers touches, this wire transmits the voltage corresponding to the coordinates to the controller or processor.

These screens can be very sensitive, allowing them to register touches made with a finger even when it is gloved. They also have a higher sensor resolution than capacitive touchscreens, meaning that fine-tipped pens can work well with them.

Resistive screens can be manufactured using a range of different materials, including PET film and glass. They have a few disadvantages, though. First of all, the film substrate is less transmissive than glass, which leads to reduced brightness and haze. It can also be susceptible to scratches and wear and tear with repeated use.

In addition, the film substrate can expand and contract based on temperature, which alters the distance between the bottom and top layers. This can result in a slight shift in the touch point and can affect the accuracy of the display.

Finally, resistive touchscreens can be used with gloves, so they are great for industrial applications that require users to be in the same room as the device. However, they do not have the same flexibility when it comes to detecting the location of a touch as capacitive touchscreens.

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