It’s no secret that the two most common types of touchscreen devices on the market are capacitive and resistive. We’ve talked about this before, but the former involves identifies touch commands by creating a change in capacitive when a human finger or capacitive object touches the interface, while the latter works by pressing together an upper and bottom layer, essentially sandwiching them together at the point of contact.

Both capacitive and resistive touchscreen devices perform the same basic function of supporting touch commands from a user. They allow users to control the respective device through touch rather than peripherals like a keyboard and mouse. There are different types of resistive touchscreens, however, including matrix and analogue.

Matrix-Style Resistive Touchscreens

Matrix resistive touchscreens are characterized by a unique construction in which striped electrodes are embedded on two layers of substrate material like glass or plastic, with the electrodes on each layer facing each other. It’s a simple, effective configuration that’s become a popular choice among touchscreen device manufacturers. According to some reports, matrix resistive touchscreens need little or no calibration once they’ve been initially calibrated by the manufacturer. They also offer a greater light transmission, making them ideal for applications in which a backlight is needed.

Analogue-Style Resistive Touchscreens

The other type of resistive touchscreen technology is analogue. With analogue resistive touchscreen devices, the electrodes are transparent and don’t necessarily face each other. According to Wikipedia, analogue resistive touchscreens cost less to manufacture than their matrix-style counterparts, thereby offering cost-savings benefits to manufacturers as well as users. Perhaps the greatest benefit of analogue resistive touchscreens is their high resolution. When compared to other touchscreen technology, they offer a higher display resolution. Additionally, though, their low cost makes them an attractive choice for budget-conscious business owners and mechanical engineers. Analogue resistive touchscreens are often used for industrial equipment controls, retail point-of-sale (POS) systems and other touchscreen applications.

To recap, all resistive touchscreens identify touch by pressing together an upper and bottom layer. When you touch the interface, these two layers make contact at the point of touch, thereby allowing the device to determine your exact point of point. Matrix-style resistive touchscreens, however, are manufactured in a unique configuration that involves striped electrodes on two layers of substrate material. In comparison, analogue-style resistive touchscreens feature transparent electrodes that don’t always face each other.