Capacitive touchscreens are used in many different consumer and commercial applications. In addition to mobile devices, for instance, they are commonly used in human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other machinery control systems. Capacitive touchscreens are touch-controlled devices that measure changes in capacitance. If they detect a change in capacitance, they’ll register it as a touch event. Here are five things about capacitive touchscreens that you probably didn’t know.
#1) Accounts for 90% of All Touchscreens
Of all the different touchscreen technologies, capacitive is the most popular. Research shows that approximately 90% of all touchscreens produced and sold are powered by capacitive technology. The second-most popular touchscreen technology, on the other hand, is resistive. Resistive touchscreens support touch commands as well, but they use multiple layers of an electrically resistive material to determine when and where touches occur.
#2) Available in Different Variations
All capacitive touchscreens are characterized by their use of capacitance. They generate a uniform electrostatic field, which they measure to detect touch commands. But capacitive touchscreens are available in different variations. There’s surface capacitance, and there’s projected capacitance. Surface capacitance involves a single side of the insulator layer being coated with a conductive material. Projected capacitance is a more advanced technology that features rows and columns of conductive traces.
#3) Supports Commands While Wearing Thin Gloves
It’s a common misconception that capacitive touchscreens only register commands performed with a bare finger. Depending on the specific technology, though, you may be able to perform touch commands with a bare finger or while wearing thin gloves. Projected capacitive touchscreens, for instance, can typically sense touch commands performed through thin gloves, such as nitrile or latex surgical gloves.
#4) Lasts Longer Than Other Technologies
Capacitive touchscreens typically last longer than many other touchscreen technologies. This is due to the fact that they don’t contain moving parts. Other types of touchscreens, such as resistive touchscreens, feature moving parts. Each time you perform a touch command the parts will move. Capacitive touchscreens don’t have moving parts. Therefore, you can use them day after day without wearing them down.
#5) Resistant to Fingerprints
You can rest assured knowing that capacitive touchscreens are resistant to fingerprints. They are designed with an invisible coating over the top layer. Known as an oleophobic coating, it helps to wick away moisture — including the moisture produced by your fingers. The end result is a high level of protection against fingerprints and other forms of superficial smudges.