The advent of touchscreen technology has revolutionized the way in which we control electronic devices. From desktop and laptop computers to smartphones, automotive infotainment centers, smart appliances and even human machine interfaces (HMI), countless electronic devices support touch commands. Even if you’re familiar with the general concept of touchscreen devices, though, there are probably some things you don’t know about them. Below are five common misconceptions about touchscreen devices that you shouldn’t believe.
#1) Touchscreens Aren’t Accurate
Some people assume that touchscreen devices are less accurate than traditional devices featuring peripherals like a keyboard and mouse. Research shows, however, that users are less likely to make mistakes when performing touch commands as opposed to keyboard-and-mouse commands. With a touchscreen device, the user will feel a physical sensation in response to his or her touch command — something that’s known as tactile feedback.
#2) All Touchscreens Use the Same Technology
While all touchscreen devices support the use of touch commands, they don’t all use the same technology. There are over a half-dozen touchscreen technologies, each of which uses a different method to detect touch commands. Some of the most popular touchscreen technologies include capacitive, resistive, surface acoustic wave (SAW), infrared grid, acoustic pulse recognition and optical imaging.
#3) Capacitive Touchscreens Don’t Work With Gloves
Capacitive touchscreens are characterized by their ability to detect touch commands by measuring capacitance. As a result, many of them only support bare finger inputs. If you wear gloves, or if you use a stylus, the capacitive touchscreen device may fail to register and respond to your command. With that said, there are certain types of capacitive touchscreens that work with gloves. For instance, you can wear thin gloves while using projected capacitive touchscreen devices.
#4) Touchscreen Devices Are a Modern Invention
Contrary to what some people believe, touchscreen devices aren’t a modern invention. The technology has been around for over a half-century. According to Wikipedia, some of the earliest known uses of touchscreen technology occurred during the 1960s.
#5) Touchscreen Devices Are Prone to Moisture Damage
While it’s true that many smartphones, tablets and other touchscreen devices succumb to damage when exposed to water or other liquids, this doesn’t apply to all of them. Resistive touchscreen devices are recognized for their superior level of protection against moisture ingress. As a result, they are often used in restaurants and other environments where moisture is problematic.