When exploring some of the different touchscreen technologies, you may encounter infrared (IR). Also known as IR grid, IR is a relatively new type of touchscreen technology. It lives up to its namesake by using IR light to detect touch commands. IR touchscreens project IR light across the display interface. When you perform a touch command, you’ll disrupt this IR light. Below are five common myths about IR touchscreens and the truths behind them.
#1) Only Works With a Bare Finger
It’s a common myth that IR touchscreens only work with a bare finger. Some people assume that they can’t wear gloves while using an IR touchscreen, nor can they can use a stylus. But the truth is that IR touchscreens support all types of touch commands, including those performed with a bare finger, a gloved finger or a stylus.
#2) Faster Wear and Tear Than Resistive Touchscreens
IR touchscreens don’t necessarily wear down more quickly than resistive touchscreens. In most cases, the opposite is true: IR touchscreens last longer than resistive counterparts. This is because IR touchscreens don’t have moving parts. They feature a perimeter of light-projecting devices around the perimeter of the display interface. When you perform a touch command, none of the parts within the IR touchscreen will move. Your touch command will simply disrupt the light.
#3) Poor Optical Clarity
Another common myth is that IR touchscreens have poor optical clarity. In reality, the optical clarity of IR touchscreens is better than that of many other touchscreens. IR touchscreens still feature a glass top layer — just like capacitive touchscreens. IR touchscreens, though, don’t require any specific patterning on this layer. Without patterning, they have excellent optical clarity.
#4) Not Affected By Sunlight
Unfortunately, IR touchscreens are oftentimes affected by sunlight. If you’re shopping for a new touchscreen and planning to use it in a bright environment, you may want to choose a different technology. Sunlight can create a glare that interferes with the IR touchscreen’s ability to detect touch commands. It’s one of the few drawbacks of using an IR touchscreen.
#5) Only Available in Small Sizes
Finally, it’s a common myth that IR touchscreens are only available in small sizes. While you can find them in small sizes, such as tablets and other mobile devices, IR touchscreens are available in large sizes as well. IR, in fact, is a scalable touchscreen technology. It can be scaled up or down to accommodate your touchscreen applications.