Have you heard of piezo touchscreen technology? Short for piezoelectricity — a form of electricity that develops naturally in certain materials — it’s become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional touchscreen technologies like resistive and capacitive. Piezoelectricity was first discovered by physicist brothers Jacques and Pierre Curie in the late 1880s. Although it didn’t happen overnight, the properties of this electricity has since been applied to touchscreen devices. Known as piezo technology, it offers several key advantages that shouldn’t be ignored. So, what is piezo touchscreen technology exactly, and why should you consider using it?

Overview of Piezo Touchscreen Technology

The general idea behind piezo touchscreen technology is that it uses a small, controlled amount of electricity on a piezoelectric material, such as ceramics, to expand and contract the material, thereby creating a layer of inert air directly above the interface. This is important because this layer is used to identify touch commands. When you touch the interface, it creates a change in capacitance — just like traditional capacitive touchscreen devices — that the device uses to pinpoint the location of your touch.

The company 3M also developed its own piezo touchscreen technology in the early 2000s. Known as dispersive signal technology, it uses an advanced computer algorithm to measure changes in piezoelectricity. A problem hindering this technology, however, is the fact that it doesn’t work with an idle finger (the user’s finger must move across the interface).

Benefits of Piezo Touchscreen Devices

Piezo touchscreen devices are durable, weather resistant and offer countless hours of usage. As a result, many companies prefer them for rugged and outdoor applications. If a touchscreen device is going to be used extensively in a workplace, piezo is an excellent choice because of its durable properties.

Furthermore, piezo touchscreen devices offer excellent display quality. It’s not uncommon for some touchscreen devices to have a lackluster display, resulting in low user satisfaction. This isn’t a problem with piezo, however, as it offers crystal-clear, high-resolution images. Whether it’s a human machine interface (HMI), tablet computer, etc., piezo delivers excellent display quality.

The Bottom Line on Piezo Touchscreen Devices

Piezo is just one of many new alternative forms of touchscreen technology. As previously mentioned, it relies on the properties of piezoelectricity to identify touch commands. And while it’s a unique form of touchscreen technology, it follows in the footsteps of capacitive technology by measuring the user’s capacitance. This offers both advantages and disadvantages. While piezo touchscreen devices are strong and durable, they don’t work with a bare finger.