Resistive is one of the world’s most popular touchscreen technologies. It’s used in smartphones, tablets, monitors, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other devices with a touchscreen interface. Resistive touchscreens are comprised of two layers, each of which contains electrodes. Touching or tapping the interface presses the layers together so that the electrodes make contact. While all resistive touchscreens use this mechanism to detect touch commands, there are different types of resistive touchscreens, one of which is matrix.

Overview of Matrix Resistive Touchscreens

A matrix resistive touchscreen is a type of touchscreen device that features horizontal rows and vertical columns of electrodes. Like all resistive touchscreens, it consists of two layers, both of which are coated with an electrically resistive material. By default, the two layers are separated by a thin layer of air or inert gas. When you touch or tap the interface, the two layers — along with their respective electrodes — will touch each other. This is essentially how matrix resistive touchscreens identify touch commands.

With that said, matrix resistive touchscreens are characterized by the use of electrodes in a specific pattern. Each of the two layers has a grid-like pattern of electrodes. They have rows and columns of electrodes that face each other. The top layer has a grid-like pattern of electrodes underneath it, whereas the bottom layer has a grid-like pattern of electrodes on top of it.

How Matrix Resistive Touchscreens Work

Like all resistive touchscreens, matrix resistive touchscreens work in response to pressure. As previously mentioned, they contain two layers. These layers are separated by air or inert gas. Touching or tapping the interface creates pressure that moves the top layer into the bottom layer.

Both of the layers in matrix resistive touchscreens contain electrodes. Specifically, they feature a grid-like pattern of electrodes. When the layers meet, the electrodes make contact in the area of your touch command. This is essentially how matrix resistive touchscreens can determine when and where a touch command occurred.

How Matrix Resistive Touchscreens Differ From Analog

There are also analog resistive touchscreens. Matrix and analog resistive touchscreens are similar. They both feature two layers, and they both have electrodes on these layers.

What’s the difference between matrix resistive and analog touchscreens exactly? In matrix resistive touchscreens, the electrodes feature a grid-like pattern with horizontal rows and vertical columns. In analog resistive touchscreens, on the other hand, the electrodes are devoid of any specific patterning.