When researching touchscreens, you’ll probably come across some confusing terms. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to choose the right touchscreen for your needs. In this post, however, we’re going to reveal seven common touchscreen terms and their respective definition.
Multi-touch is a feature in touchscreens that allows for two or more simultaneous points of contact. Not all touchscreens feature multi-touch. But if a touchscreen has this feature, you can perform commands by touching two more areas of the display interface simultaneously.
Resistive refers to a common type of touchscreen technology that relies on pressure to detect commands. Although there are different ways to manufacture resistive touchscreens, most consists of two layers. When you press the display interface, the top layer will push into the bottom layer, allowing it to detect your command.
Along with resistive, capacitive is another common type of touchscreen technology. However, it works in a completely different manner by leveraging the human body’s conductive properties to detect touch commands. Touching a capacitive touchscreen allows your finger to absorb some of the device’s electrical charge, which the controller identifies a touch command.
#4) Protected Capacitance
Protected capacitance is a special type of capacitive technology that’s become increasingly popular in recent years. Also known as PCT or PCAP touchscreens, projected capacitance touchscreens contain vertical and horizontal electrodes to achieve a grid. When compared to traditional surface capacitance touchscreens, they offer a higher level of accuracy, touch sensitivity and resolution.
#5) Infrared Grid
While not as common as resistive or capacitive, infrared grid (IR) is a type of touchscreen technology. With IR touchscreens, a grid of light is projected across the display interface. Touching the display interface causes a disturbance in this light, which the device detects as a touch command.
#6) Acoustic Pulse Recognition
Acoustic pulse recognition is a type of touchscreen technology that uses ultrasonic sound waves to detect touch commands. It’s similar to IR touchscreen technology, with the only exception being that acoustic pulse recognition touchscreens project ultrasonic sound waves over the display interface rather than light.
#7) Indium Tin Oxide
Indium tin oxide (ITO) is a conductive material that’s commonly used in touchscreens. Capacitive touchscreens, for example, contain a layer of ITO over the transparent top layer. What is ITO exactly? Basically, it’s a conductive material consisting of three elements: indium, tin and oxygen. When applied to the top layer of a capacitive touchscreen, it allows the device to absorb some of the user’s capacitance.