Capacitive touchscreen technology powers countless smartphones, tablets, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other touch-sensing devices. Not to be confused with capacitive, resistive touchscreens are characterized by their ability to detect touch commands by measuring an electrostatic charge. Touching the display interfaces causes the user’s finger to absorb some of the electrostatic charge, which the device detects and identifies as a touch command.

While all capacitive touchscreen devices follow this same basic method to detect touch commands, some have unique characteristics and features. Projected capacitive touchscreen (PCT), for example, is different than surface capacitive touchscreen technology. If you’re looking to buy a capacitive touchscreen device, below are the top three advantages of choosing PCT over surface capacitive technology.

#1) Multi-Touch Support

Only PCT devices, not their surface capacitive counterpart, support multi-touch commands. Multi-touch technology has been around for decades, with some of the first examples dating back to the original iPhone. Since then, it’s become an increasingly common feature found in touchscreen devices. It lives up to its namesake by supporting two or more simultaneous points of contact, such as pinch-to-zoom functionality. But only PCT devices feature multi-touch support.

#2) Identifies Touch Commands Through Thin Gloves

You can wear gloves while using a resistive touchscreen this. This is because resistive devices identify touch commands based on pressure rather than changes in capacitance. Touching the display interface of a resistive device causes the device’s upper layer to deform, eventually pressing against a bottom layer. The contact between these two layers is detected by the device and registered as a touch command.

Capacitive touchscreen devices generally won’t register touch commands if you’re wearing gloves, however. Unless their are capacitive gloves — gloves designed with conductive fingertip — they won’t disturb the device’s electrostatic field. With that said, PCT devices are able to detect touch commands through thin gloves. You use a PCT while wearing surgical gloves, latex gloves or other thin gloves, and it will register your touch commands just like a resistive device.

#3) Strong and Durable

PCT devices are often used in commercial applications, such as manufacturing factories, because of their unparalleled level of strength and durability. The top layer is typically constructed of heavy-duty glass in which electrodes are embedded. The purpose of the electrodes is to create a uniform electrostatic field, which the device uses to detect touch commands.

When compared to surface capacitive devices, PCT devices are stronger and more durable. As a result, they can withstand greater stress without succumbing to scratches, dents, cracks or other forms of damage.