Capacitive touchscreens are undoutedbly popular. You can find them in smartphones, tablets, control systems, appliances and countless other electronic devices with an embedded touchscreen interface. If you’re thinking about buying a capacitive touchscreen, though, you might be wondering whether they use a mechanical method of optional.

No, Capacitive Touchscreens Are Not Mechanical

While some touchscreens do, in fact, use a mechanical method of operation, capacitive touchscreens don’t fall under this category. There are surface capacitive touchscreens, and there are projected capacitive touchscreens. Regardless, they don’t use a mechanical method of operation.

Mechanical touchscreens are characterized by their use of moving parts. They feature parts that move during use. As their respective parts move, they are able to detect touch commands. Capacitive touchscreens can still detect touch commands, but they don’t require the use of moving parts. And without leveraging moving parts, capacitive touchscreens use a non-mechanical method of operation.

How Capacitive Touchscreens Work

Capacitive touchscreens don’t have moving parts. Rather, they are able to detect touch commands without any moving parts.

Whether surface or projected, all capacitive touchscreens generate an electrostatic field. They feature embedded wires that, during use, generate an electrostatic field. While generating this electrostatic field, capacitive touchscreens will measure it. The electrostatic field is uniform by default. Exposure to a conductive object will change it.

If you touch your finger or any other conductive object against the surface of a capacitive touchscreen, its electrostatic field will change. This is essentially how capacitive touchscreens work. Touch commands cause the voltage of the electrostatic field to drop. Assuming you perform a touch command with a conductive object, you’ll change the voltage of the capacitive touchscreen’s electrostatic field.

The Benefits of a Non-Mechanical Method of Operation

Because they don’t use a mechanical method of operation, capacitive touchscreens offer several benefits. They are more sensitive to touch commands, for instance. You won’t have to press very hard to register a touch command. On the contrary, as long as your finger is gently touching the display interface, the capacitive touchscreen should register it as a touch command.

Capacitive touchscreens also last longer than many other types of touchscreens thanks to their non-mechanical method of operation. Touchscreens that use a mechanical method of operation are exposed to wear and tear with each touch command. Performing a touch command will move some of their parts, which can shorten the lifespan of these alternative touchscreens. Capacitive touchscreens don’t have moving parts, so they are protected from premature wear and tear.