Different types of touchscreens use different technologies to detect touch commands. Some of them use capacitive technology, for instance. Capacitive technology revolves around the use of an electrostatic field that, when exposed to a conductive object like a bare finger, changes.

Other touchscreens use ultrasonic sound waves to detect touch commands. Known as surface acoustic wave (SAW) touchscreens, they’ve become increasingly popular. SAW touchscreens are still relatively new, but their quickly gaining momentum thanks to their unique benefits.

What Are SAW Touchscreens?

SAW touchscreens are characterized by the use of ultrasonic sound waves to detect touch commands. When turned on, they project ultrasonic sound waves across the display interface. SAW touchscreens will then sense these ultrasonic sound waves while looking for disruptions.

Like most touchscreens, SAW touchscreens consist of a touchscreen panel with an integrated display. Liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) are typically used for SAW touchscreens. The LCD display will produce the images, whereas the touchscreen panel will serve as the interface for touch commands. SAW touchscreens simply use ultrasonic sound waves to detect touch commands.

How SAW Touchscreens Work

You might be wondering how SAW touchscreens work exactly. The top layer of a SAW touchscreen features ultrasonic sound waves. You won’t be able to see or hear these ultrasonic sound waves. Nonetheless, SAW touchscreens will constantly project them across the top layer. At the same time, SAW touchscreens will measure these ultrasonic sound waves while looking for disruptions.

Performing a touch command will disrupt the ultrasonic sound waves on the top layer. You can perform touch commands using a bare finger, a stylus or any other object. When you place a finger or object on a SAW touchscreen’s top layer, the ultrasonic sound waves will become disrupted in the area of your touch command. This disruption will allow the SAW touchscreen to determine when and where you touched.

Benefits of SAW Touchscreens

SAW touchscreens are long-lasting. They don’t use a mechanical method of operation. Rather, they rely on ultrasonic sound waves, meaning there are no moving parts in SAW touchscreens. Some SAW touchscreens can last for over 50 million touches, so you don’t have to worry about them failing prematurely.

SAW touchscreens also support the use of a stylus. As previously mentioned, you can control them with any object. The same can’t be said for other types of touchscreens, some of which only work with a bare finger. This makes SAW touchscreens versatile and easy to use.