Are you planning to purchase one or more touchscreen devices in the near future? Whether for recreational or business purposes (or both), you should consider the type of touchscreen technology powering the device or devices. Capacitive and resistive continue to rank as the most popular types of touchscreen technology. They are both found in tablet computers, smartphones, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other touchscreen devices. However, there are different types of capacitive and resistive technology. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at a specific type of resistive touchscreen technology known as 5 wire.

Overview of 5-Wire Resistive Touchscreen Technology

5-wire is a form of resistive touchscreen technology that’s characterized by the presence of sensors on the top and bottom layers. The sensors face alternating directions. The sensors on the top layer are embedded underneath it so that they face downwards. In comparison, the sensors are on the bottom layer are embedded on top so that they face upwards. With that said, electrodes on a five-wire resistive touchscreen devices are only placed on the corners of the bottom layer. This is in stark contrast to 4-wire resistive touchscreen devices, which feature electrodes on both the top and bottom layers.

Works With a Stylus

All resistive touchscreen devices can identify touch commands from a bare finger, gloved finger or stylus — and 5-wire resistive devices are no exception. They don’t rely on human capacitance to identify touch commands. Rather, pressing the surface of a 5-wire resistive device causes the top layer to make contact with the bottom layer. With electrodes placed on the bottom layer, it’s able to detect the location of a user’s touch command, even with a stylus is used. Unfortunately, capacitive touchscreen devices only work with a bare finger (or special capacitive stylus). Therefore, many businesses and consumers prefer resistive touchscreen devices like 5 wire.

Damage to the Top Layer May Not Affect Performance

5-wire resistive touchscreen devices are generally regarded as being more durable than 4-wire and other types of touchscreen devices. This is because only the bottom layer measures voltage. If there’s damage to the top layer, it shouldn’t impact a 5-wire resistive touchscreen device’s performance. The bottom layer features electrodes that measure voltage, so minor forms of damage to the top layer won’t prevent this from happening. With increased durability and longevity, 5-wire resistive touchscreen devices are the perfect solution for heavy-use/high-traffic applications, specifically in the commercial sector.