Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or human machine interface (HMI), countless touchscreens are powered by projected capacitance technology. Not to be confused with surface capacitance, projected capacitance is a unique type of touchscreen technology that offers several noteworthy benefits. If this is your first time hearing about the technology, keep reading to learn more about projected capacitance touchscreens and how they work.

What Is a Projected Capacitance Touchscreen?

Also known as a projected capacitive touchscreen, a projected capacitance touchscreen is a type of touch-controlled device that offers an exceptionally high level of sensitivity. It’s essentially a variant of capacitive touchscreen technology. All types of capacitive touchscreen technology are characterized by the use of capacitance to detect touch commands. Touching the display interface causes the capacitance to change — and the device uses this information to identify the location of your touch command.

So, what makes projected capacitance touchscreens unique from other types of capacitive touchscreens? They are designed with a controller that’s able to detect commands with greater sensitivity.

Advantages of Projected Capacitive Touchscreens

Projected capacitive touchscreens are often preferred over other types of touchscreens because of their superior sensitivity. All capacitive touchscreens are sensitive, but projected capacitive touchscreens offer the highest level of sensitivity. Just hovering your finger over the display interface is often enough to trigger a touch command.

Another advantage of projected capacitive touchscreens is their native support for multi-touch commands. Multi-touch, of course, refers to touch commands involving two or more simultaneous points of contact. Pinching the display interface is a common example of multi-touch. It requires two points of contact, thus it’s considered a multi-touch command. Not all touchscreens support multi-touch commands. Projected capacitive touchscreens, however, do support them.

Normally, capacitive touchscreens won’t register touch commands performed while wearing gloves. This is because they rely on capacitance to detect touch commands. If you wear gloves, your finger won’t distort the electrostatic field, meaning the device won’t register your command. With that said, you can typically wear thin gloves, such as surgical gloves, when using a projected capacitive touchscreen.

Projected touchscreens also have a long lifespan. They don’t contain any mechanical or otherwise moving parts. As a result, projected touchscreens don’t suffer from age-related wear and tear like other types of touchscreens. These are just a few of the many advantages of projected capacitance touchscreens.