It’s not uncommon for touchscreens to vibrate in response to touch commands. Whether you own a capacitive or resistive touchscreen, you’ll probably feel a vibration immediately after performing a touch command. Most touchscreens are now designed with a vibrating feature.

Vibrations Are a Form of Tactile Feedback

The vibrations produced by touchscreens are a form of tactile feedback. Also known as haptics, it’s a physical sensation that offers verification of a touch command. When you perform a touch command, the touchscreen will typically vibrate. You can raise or lower the strength of these vibrations in your touchscreen’s settings. Alternatively, you can disable them altogether. Regardless, most touchscreens are now designed with vibrations as a form of tactile feedback.

How Touchscreens Vibrate

Touchscreens typically vibrate using a small motor. The motor embedded in the back of the touchscreen — behind its touchscreen and display layers. It’s a small and narrow component that vibrates within a housing unit.

Even though vibrations require the use of a motor, they won’t harm or otherwise interfere with a touchscreen’s operations. The motor is secured in a housing unit where it’s separated from the touchscreen’s other components. As a result, it will “shake” the touchscreen to produce vibrations without harming any of the surrounding components.

Benefits of Touchscreen Vibrations

By vibrating, touchscreens provide a higher level of input accuracy. As previously mentioned, vibrations offer verification of touch commands. When you feel a touchscreen vibrate, you’ll know that it registered your touch command. If you don’t feel a touchscreen vibrate, on the other hand, you’ll know that it didn’t register your touch command, in which case you can redo your command.

Since they verify touch commands, vibrations can improve your input accuracy. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Glasgow, in fact, found that users were 20% less likely to make input errors when typing on a vibrating touchscreen as opposed to a non-vibrating touchscreen.

There’s also evidence suggesting that vibrations increase typing speed on touchscreens. The same study previously mentioned found that users typed 20% faster on vibrating touchscreens.

Vibrations is the primary method by which touchscreens produce tactile feedback. Most touchscreens, including resistive and capacitive, are designed with a small motor. When you perform a touch command, the motor will vibrate, thereby giving you confirmation that the touchscreen registered your touch command.