Touchscreens have evolved over the years. In addition to encompassing more devices — smartphones, tablets, human machine interfaces (HMIs), infotainment systems, etc. — they are now available in different technologies. All touchscreens are powered by a particular technology, but some of them use different technologies than others. With 2021 now upon us, you can expect to see more of the following touchscreen trends.
#1) OLED Displays
The use of an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display is a common touchscreen trend. All touchscreens have a display. After all, a display a necessary to create images and, thus, support touch commands. Rather than a liquid-crystal display (LCD), though, many touchscreens now feature an OLED display. OLED displays are distinguished by their self-illuminating pixels. Their pixels can light up without the assistance of separating lighting system, such as a backlighting system.
You can expect to see more touchscreen devices with multi-touch technology in 2021 and in the years to come. Multi-touch is a feature that, as the name suggests, allows a touchscreen to recognize touch commands performed with two or more points of contact.
Self-capacitance touchscreens have become increasingly popular — and there’s no sign of them slowing down anytime soon. Also known as self-capacitive touchscreens, they are similar to mutual capacitance touchscreens. Both self-capacitance and mutual capacitance touchscreens identify touch commands by measuring a uniform electrostatic field. The difference is that self-capacitance touchscreens have rows and columns of sensors that operate independently of each other.
Another common touchscreen trend to look for in 2021 is the use of haptics. Haptics is a form of feedback that’s created in response to a touch command. Whether it’s a resistive, mutual capacitance or self-capacitance touchscreen, most touchscreens now produce this feedback. With haptics, you’ll have confirmation that a touchscreen recognized your touch command. A common example is vibrations. Upon performing a touch command, most touchscreens will vibrate. When you feel this vibration, you can rest assured knowing that the touchscreen recognized your command.
#5) Optical Coatings
Finally, optical coatings are becoming more common. An optical coating is a transparent layer that’s applied over the surface of a touchscreen’s display interface. Most of them consist of an oleophobic liquid that, when applied, hardens over the touchscreen’s display interface to form a protective barrier. Oleophobic coatings don’t interfere in the performance of functionality of a touchscreen. Rather, they protect touchscreens’ display interface from fingerprints, oils and other liquids.