Capacitive has become the world’s leading touchscreen technology. It’s used in smartphones, tablets, infotainment centers, smartwatches and other touchscreen devices. Capacitive touchscreen technology receives its namesake from its use of capacitance. It detects touch commands by measuring changes in capacitance. But there are different types of capacitive touchscreens. In addition to surface capacitive, there are mutual capacitive touchscreens. Here are five facts about mutual capacitive touchscreens and how they work.
#1) Feature a Conductive Layer
All mutual capacitive touchscreens feature a conductive layer. It typically consists of indium tin oxide (ITO). ITO has excellent conductivity. Different types of mutual capacitive touchscreens use different materials in their construction, but many use an ITO layer. When turned on, they will apply a voltage to this ITO layer while simultaneously measuring it for changes in capacitance.
#2) A Variant of PCT
Project touchscreens are considered a variant of projected capacitive touch (PCT) technology. There are two variants of PCT technology. They include mutual capacitive and self-capacitive. Mutual capacitive touchscreens are characterized by their ability to form a capacitor at each row and column intersection. They feature rows and columns of conductive traces. Capacitors are formed at the intersections of these rows and columns. Self-capacitive touchscreens use a similar grid-like design, but their rows and columns operate independently of each other.
#3) Named After the Principle of Mutual Capacitance
Mutual capacitive touchscreens receive their namesake from the principle of mutual capacitance. Mutual capacitance is the concept that two conductive objects are able to hold a charge if they are in close proximity to each other. Mutual capacitive touchscreens feature a conductive layer, and the human body is also conductive. If you place your finger against the display interface, you’ll change the capacitance by drawing some of the voltage to your body.
#4) Supports Single-Touch and Multi-Touch Commands
You can perform single-touch and multi-touch commands on mutual capacitive touchscreens. Pinch to zoom is an example of a multi-touch command. On many capacitive touchscreens, including mutual capacitive touchscreen, you can pinch the screen to zoom in or out of the display. Mutual capacitive touchscreens support single-touch and multi-touch commands, the latter of which includes pinch to zoom.
#5) Highly Accurate
Mutual capacitive are highly accurate at detecting when and where touch commands occur. This is because they form a capacitor at each grid intersection. While invisible to the naked eye, mutual capacitive touchscreens feature conductive traces. The traces are arranged in rows and columns. Mutual capacitive touchscreens form a grid at each intersection of these traces, thus allowing for greater accuracy than that of many other touchscreens.