Whether you own an Android or iOS smartphone, there’s a good chance that it’s powered by capacitive touch-sensing technology. When smartphones first entered market, most of them were powered by resistive touch-sensing technology. In the years to follow, however, mobile device manufacturers began switching to capacitive technology. Today, nearly all smartphones use capacitive technology to sense touch commands.
Apple Introduces the Capacitive-Powered iPhone
Capacitive touch-sensing technology has been around for several decades, but it wasn’t until 2007 when smartphones began using this technology to sense touch commands. Specifically, Apple is credited with launching one of the world’s first capacitive-powered smartphones. In 2007, the Cupertino-based tech company released the first-generation iPhone. Unlike other smartphones at the time, it didn’t use resistive technology to detect touch commands. Rather, it used capacitive technology.
Of course, the Apple iPhone was a groundbreaking smartphone that paved the way for new developments in the mobile device industry. But unless you’re familiar with capacitive technology, you might be wondering why it’s become the de-facto standard for smartphones and other mobile devices.
Prevents False Touch Commands
One of the reasons why Apple, as well as other mobile device manufacturers, have switched from resistive to capacitive touch-sensing technology is because capacitive technology prevents false touch commands. You can store a capacitive smartphone in your pocket, for example, without worrying about it triggering false touch commands.
This is because capacitive smartphones require contact with a conductive object to register a touch command. Unless there’s a conductive object in your pocket, you can store a capacitive smartphone in your pocket without any false commands being registered.
Capacitive smartphones are also more responsive than their resistive counterparts. What does this mean exactly? It means you can perform touch commands on a capacitive smartphone by gently hovering your finger over the display interface. In comparison, resistive smartphones require greater physical force to trigger touch commands.
You can often perform touch commands on a capacitive smartphone simply by hovering your finger directly over the display interface. As long as your finger is close to the display interface, it will absorb some of the smartphone’s electrostatic filed, allowing the device to detect your touch command.
Although they are able to prevent false touch commands — as well as offer a higher level of responsiveness — there are still some potential drawbacks to capacitive smartphones. Capacitive smartphones, for example, generally cost more to produce than resistive smartphones. And with a higher manufacturing cost, they typically sell for a higher price than resistive smartphones.