Touchscreens have revolutionized the way in which we control electronic devices. While all touchscreens support the use of touch-based input, however, some of them use different technologies to achieve this goal than others. Projected capacitive touchscreens have become increasingly popular because of their unique benefits. So, what is a projected capacitive touchscreen exactly, and how does it differ from other types of touchscreens?

Projected Capacitive Touchscreen Technology Explained

Projected capacitive is a type of touchscreen technology that’s characterized by the use of an etching electrode pattern on the conductive layer. The etched electrodes essentially form a grid. There are horizontally etched electrodes as well as vertically etched electrodes that, when combined, form a grid. Other types of touchscreens also have electrodes to detect touch commands, but projected capacitive touchscreens are designed with a grid of vertical and horizontal electrodes, resulting in a grid-like pattern.

Advantages of Projected Capacitive Touchscreens

Like other types of capacitive touchscreens, projected capacitive touchscreens are highly responsive. You don’t have to forcefully tap or touch the interface. Rather, a light tap or touch on the interface should trigger the desired command.

In addition to high responsiveness, projected capacitive touchscreens often support the use of a bare finger as a well a gloved finger. Other types of capacitive touchscreens typically only work with a bare finger. If you’re wearing gloves and tap or touch the interface, it won’t register your command. The etched electrode design of projected capacitive touchscreens, however, means you wear thin gloves while using them.

It’s also worth mentioning that projected capacitive touchscreens produce clearer images than other types of touchscreens. They allow most of the light produced by the backlight to pass through the top layer. The end result is clearer, better-detailed images that aren’t found in other types of touchscreens.

Disadvantages of Projected Capacitive Touchscreens

What are the disadvantages of using a capacitive touchscreen compared to other types of touchscreens? Well, there aren’t any real disadvantages. In terms of performance, projected capacitive touchscreens come out on top. They are more responsive, produce clearer images and offer better all-around performance than nearly all other types of touchscreens.

Keep in mind there are two different variations of projected capacitive touchscreens: self and mutual. Mutual projected capacitive touchscreens form a capacitor at each electrode intersection. In comparison, self projected capacitive touchscreens feature rows and columns of electrodes that operate independently of each other.