Touchscreen Technology: How does it Work?

It’s something we already take for granted: when we touch an icon on the screens of our electronic devices, we expect something to happen. And not just anything, either; we anticipate our gadgets to do exactly what we’d like it to do, when we want it done, and all at the touch of a fingertip. It was not too far back that touchscreen technology was a source of wonder. Nowadays, touchscreen technology is a given for most of the latest gizmos—everything from tablet computers to GPS units.

But how do touchscreens work? What’s the technology behind them? Because there are various sorts of touchscreen the answer isn’t that simple. Here we will explain just a few.

Resistive touchscreens

This is the most common form of touchscreen technology. Resistive touchscreens are coated with an electrically conductive layer. Your fingertip changes the electrical current when you touch it. This delivers a message to the device’s controller telling it what action you need to perform. This technology is more affordable than other touchscreen technologies and also less sensitive.

Surface wave touchscreen

This kind of touchscreen is popular as well. It relies on ultrasonic waves that pass over the touchscreen. When you touch the panel, you essentially alter the wave. Depending on how and where it is changed, specific information is given to the device’s controller to relay what action to preform.

Capacitive touchscreens

Capacitive touchscreens most often have the sharpest image quality. Devices using this technology are coated with a material that sends an electrical current across the screen. As the human body is electrical, whenever you touch the screen, you absorb some of the electric current which disrupts the flow across the device. Just as with the other types of touchscreen, the disruption sends information to the device’s controller. The device then performs the action that you requested, at the touch of a fingertip.

Fortunately, to enjoy touchscreen technology you don’t have to have a deep understanding of it. And you don’t have to be an engineer to realize this technology will become more popular, not less.


About tsgnetworks

TSG Networks provides IT services to businesses and non-profit organizations that wish to focus on furthering their missions by leaving technology to the experts.
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