Capacitive has become the leading type of touchscreen technology. It’s used in countless smartphones, tablet computers, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other touchscreen devices to support touch-based commands. Unfortunately, the widespread growth and adoption of capacitive touchscreens has led to misinformation about the technology and how it works. Below are five common myths about capacitive touchscreens that you shouldn’t believe.
#1) They Don’t Support Multi-Touch Input
Although there are exceptions, most capacitive touchscreens support multi-touch input, meaning you can control them by performing two or more simultaneous touches. Multi-touch functionality has become a common feature of capacitive touchscreens, ever since Apple released the first-generation iPhone over a decade ago. It allows users to perform a greater variety of touch commands, such as pinching the screen with two fingers to zoom in or out.
#2) They Use Pressure to Register Touch Commands
Unlike resistive touchscreens, capacitive touchscreens don’t rely on pressure to identify and register touch commands. Instead, they detect touch commands by measuring capacitance with a controller. Capacitive touchscreens are designed to emit a uniform electrostatic charge, which the controller measures while searching for a change of capacitance. When you touch the surface, your finger will absorb some of the device’s electrostatic charge, causing the device’s capacitance to drop and therefore allowing it to detect your command.
#3) They Don’t Work With a Stylus
Another common myth is that capacitive touchscreens don’t work with a stylus. Granted, most capacitive touchscreens only work with a bare finger. An exception, however, is projected capacitance touchscreens (PCTs). PCTs feature a unique design than the surface capacitance touchscreens, allowing them to detect touch commands while wearing thin gloves.
#4) Capacitive Touchscreen Technology Is New
While capacitive touchscreens have become increasingly popular in recent years, they technology has been around for quite some time. Reports show that the technology has been around for several decades. In the 1970s, CERN engineers Bent Stumpe and Frank Beck developed a capacitive touchscreen, which is believed to be one of the world’s first capacitive touchscreens.
#5) They Are Less Sensitive Than Resistive Touchscreens
The opposite is actually true: Capacitive touchscreens are more sensitive than resistive touchscreens. Since they detect touch commands using pressure — touching the display pushes the top layer into the bottom layer — resistive touchscreens require greater force or pressure to trigger a touch command. With capacitive touchscreens, you can often trigger a touch command just by barely touching the display with your finger.