There are different ways to control touchscreens. You can use your fingers, for instance, to perform touch commands. Tapping or otherwise touching the display interface with a finger will create a touch event. Alternatively, you can use a stylus.

A stylus is a pen-shaped input device that’s designed specifically for touchscreen devices. Most touchscreens support the use of a stylus. There are different types of styluses for touchscreens, however, one of which is an active stylus. To learn more about active styluses for touchscreens and how they work, keep reading.

Overview of Active Styluses

An active stylus is a type of capacitive stylus that works automatically and without the need for Bluetooth or other wireless technologies.

Capacitive touchscreens don’t work with ordinary styluses. Instead, they require the use of a special stylus. An active stylus is a type of capacitive stylus that works with these touchscreens. If you own a capacitive touchscreen, you may want to use an active stylus with it. You can control the capacitive touchscreen with an active stylus by tapping or touching the display interface.

Active styluses are simply capacitive styluses that work automatically. When you tap the display interface with an active stylus, the capacitive touchscreen will register your command.

How Active Styluses Work

Active styluses work by changing the capacitance of the capacitive touchscreens with which they are used. Capacitive touchscreens, of course, produce a uniform electrostatic field when turned on. They will project this electrostatic field over the surface of the display interface, and they’ll measure it while looking for changes in capacitance. If exposed to a conductive object, the capacitance will drop. The capacitive touchscreen will then identify this change in capacitance as a touch event.

The problem with ordinary styluses is that they aren’t conductive. You can use them to control a resistive touchscreen, but you can’t use them to control a capacitive touchscreen. Capacitive touchscreens require contact with a conductive object. Fortunately, active styluses are conductive. They have a conductive tip that will change the capacitance of the display interface.

Active Styluses for Other Touchscreen Styluses

There are other types of touchscreen styluses besides active. With that said, only active styluses work automatically with capacitive touchscreens.

A stylus is considered active if it works automatically upon contact with a capacitive touchscreen. Other touchscreen styluses use wireless technologies like Bluetooth. They don’t feature a conductive tip. Rather, they connect wirelessly to capacitive touchscreens.