While not as popular as capacitive, resistive ranks as one of the world’s leading touchscreen technologies. It’s been around for decades, during which it’s been used to power everything from smartphones and tablets to human machine interfaces (HMIs) and smart wearables. There are both advantages and disadvantages of resistive touchscreens, however, which you can find below.

What Are Resistive Touchscreens?

Before we explore their pros and cons, you should first familiarize yourself with the basics of resistive touchscreens and how they operate. By definition, a resistive touchscreen is a type of touch-controlled device that’s made of two or more transparent layers comprised of electrically resistive material that face each other. There’s a layer of air or gas separating these two layers. As a result, touching the interface presses the layers so that one layer senses the voltage of the other layer.

Pros of Resistive Touchscreens

Resistive touchscreens offer an unparalleled level of durability. Manufacturing companies, restaurants and retailers often prefer them over other types of touchscreens for this very reason. With their durable construction, resistive touchscreens can withstand moisture and stress without succumbing to damage.

You can control a resistive touchscreen using a stylus or while wearing gloves. Most capacitive touchscreens only register commands performed with a bare finger (or a special capacitive stylus). If you use a stylus or a gloved finger to tap the interface, the capacitive touchscreen won’t respond to your command. Resistive touchscreens register and respond to all forms of input, though. You can control them with a bare finger, a gloved finger, a stylus or pretty much any other object.

Cons of Resistive Touchscreens

There are still a few potential cons associated with resistive touchscreens. When compared to capacitive touchscreens, resistive touchscreens aren’t as sensitive. They are still responsive, but you’ll have to tap or press the interface with greater force for a resistive touchscreen to recognize your input.

Resistive touchscreens usually offer lower display resolutions than capacitive touchscreens. Granted, not all applications require a high resolution display. If a touchscreen is used as a point-of-sale (POS) system in a retail environment, for example, resolution shouldn’t be a concern.

In Conclusion

Like other touchscreen technologies, resistive has several advantages and disadvantages. They are strong and durable while also supporting all forms of touch commands. On the other hand, resistive touchscreens offer a lower level of sensitivity, as well as display resolution, than capacitive touchscreens.