Capacitive touchscreen technology has been around for nearly a half-century, during which two CERN engineers produced the world’s first capacitive touchscreen device. Since then, the technology has been used in countless touchscreen devices, including smartphones, tablets, human machine interfaces (HMIs), smart appliances and more. In recent years, though, a variant of capacitive touchscreen technology has emerged: projected capacitive touch (PCAT). PCAT offers several unique benefits, some of which include the following.

#1) Resistant to Dirt and Debris

PCAT touchscreens are better protected against the intrusion of dirt, dust and other debris than most other types of touchscreen devices. Even when used outdoors, they’ll withstand environmental pollutants, allowing businesses and owners to get more use out of their PCAT touchscreens.

#2) Highly Sensitive to Touch Commands

All capacitive touchscreens offer a higher level of sensitivity to touch commands than their resistive counterparts. PCAT touchscreens, however, are even more sensitive to touch commands than surface capacitive touchscreens. Even a light-pressure touch will trigger a command with a PCAT touchscreen. When a user’s finger is placed on the display, his or her body will absorb some of the PCAT touchscreen’s electrical current. This causes a change of capacitance, which the device detects and registers as a touch command.

#3) Brighter Display

It’s also worth mentioning that PCAT touchscreens offer a brighter display than other types of touchscreen devices. When used in conjunction with the right backlighting solution — electroluminescent (EL), light-emitting diode (LED) or fiber optics — they’ll produce a superior level of illumination that lights up the display.

#4) Multi-Touch Support

While available on surface capacitive touchscreens as well, PCAT touchscreens support multi-touch commands. Depending on the specific type of PCAT touchscreen, you may be able to pinch the display to zoom in or out, or you may be able to hold the display with two fingers to rotate an image.

#5) Resistant to Water and Moisture

PCAT touchscreens are often designed with an emphasis on water and moisture resistance. In fact, some PCAT touchscreens are designed with a waterproof body with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of 65. With a waterproof body, you don’t have to worry about your PCAT touchscreen succumbing to damage caused by spilled liquids, rain or moisture vapor in the air.

#6) Stylus or Bare Finger

You might be surprised to learn that PCAT touchscreens support both bare finger touches as well as stylus touches. Traditional surface capacitive touchscreens only work with a bare finger. But PCAT touchscreens support both bare finger touches and stylus touches.