It’s not uncommon for touchscreens to feature a screen protector. While most touchscreens aren’t manufactured with a screen protector, users typically add them to protect against scratches and other forms of damage. Touchscreens can develop scratches — even from regular usage. Consisting of a thin and flat piece of transparent material, a screen protector serves as a shield that protects a touchscreen from scratches.

Most touchscreens, of course, use capacitive technology to detect, as well as respond to, touch commands. Capacitive touchscreens are defined by their use of a uniform electrostatic field. They emit a uniform electrostatic field across the display while simultaneously measuring this field for changes. If you touch the display with a conductive object, it will change the capacitive device’s electrostatic field. A screen protector, however, creates a barrier between the device’s screen and your finger or stylus. Nonetheless, most capacitive touchscreens will still function with a screen protector.

All About Projected Capacitive

The reason touchscreens are able to detect touch commands through a screen protector is because they typically use a special, advanced type of capacitive technology. Known as projected capacitive, it features two conductive layers that contain sensors. One of these layers has rows of sensors, whereas the other layer has columns of sensors. When pressed together, the two layers form a grid-like arrangement of sensors that measure the device’s electrostatic field.

You can control projected capacitive touchscreens using a finger. Touching the display will change its electrostatic field, which the corresponding sensors in that area will register as a touch event. Additionally, though, most capacitive touchscreens can detect touch commands through a protector.

Screen Protectors and Projected Capacitive Touchscreens

With their grid-like arrangement of sensors, projected capacitive touchscreens can detect touch events through thin and non-conductive material, including that of which a screen protector is made.

Screen protectors are typically made of plastic or a similar synthetic material. Therefore, they aren’t conductive. With their non-conductive properties, they won’t draw or add electricity to a conductive object. But you can still control a projected capacitive touchscreen through a screen protector.

Screen protectors are thin, so they won’t disrupt the operations of a projected touchscreen. If a projected capacitive touchscreen has a screen protector, it will typically still be able to detect touch events — assuming you use a conductive object.

You can use a finger or a capacitive stylus to control a projected touchscreen. Both are conductive, so they’ll change the device’s otherwise uniform electrostatic field. If the capacitive touchscreen has a screen protector, pressing a finger or capacitive stylus against the display will still cause its electrostatic field to change. Projected capacitive touchscreens have intersecting rows and columns of sensors, which makes them highly accurate and responsive at detecting touch events.