Along with capacitive, resistive is one of the most common types of touch-sensing technologies powering touchscreen devices. From smartphones and tablets to human machine interfaces (HMIs) and automotive infotainment systems, countless touchscreen devices feature resistive technology. Before investing in a resistive touchscreen device, though, you may have some questions about the technology and how it works

Do They Support Multi-Touch Input?

While not available in all resistive touchscreen devices, many of them support multi-touch input. This feature, of course, allows users to perform touch commands using two or more simultaneous points of contact. Pinching the screen to zoom in or out is an example of a multi-touch command.

Are They More Sensitive to Touch Commands Than Capacitive Touchscreens?

Both resistive and capacitive touchscreen devices can easily sense touch commands, even when applying minimal pressure to the display interface. Of those two technologies, however, capacitive is slightly more sensitive than its resistive counterpart. This is because capacitive touchscreen devices identify touch commands by measuring capacitance, whereas resistive touchscreen devices identify touch commands by pressure.

Can I Use a Stylus With Them?

If you’ve ever attempted to control a capacitive smartphone or tablet using a stylus, you may have noticed that it doesn’t work. As previously mentioned, capacitive touchscreens rely on capacitance to identify a user’s touch commands. When a user touches the display interface, his or her finger absorbs some of the device’s electrostatic field. This creates a change in capacitance that the device is able to detect. The problem with using a stylus is that most styluses are made of a non-conductive material like plastic, so they won’t absorb any of the device’s electrostatic field.

Are They More Accurate Than Capacitive Touchscreens?

Resistive touchscreens can be more accurate than capacitive. With resistive touchscreens, the precise point where two layers meet is registered and recognized as a touch command. In comparison, capacitive touchscreens register the point where the electrostatic field changed as a touch command.

How Long Do They Last?

The lifespan of a resistive touchscreen device varies depending on a number of factors. High-quality resistive touchscreens, however, can last for 200,000 or more touches. Even when used daily in a workplace, it can take many years to reach this number of touches.

The touchscreen device market is comprised primarily of capacitive and resistive devices. Both types of touch-sensing technology offer their own advantages and disadvantages. As a result, you can’t go wrong choosing either a resistive or capacitive touchscreen device.