There are a variety of touch-sensing technologies on the market, including resistive, capacitive and surface wave acoustic (SAW). Of those technologies, however, capacitive has become the preferred choice by mobile device manufacturers. Smartphones, tablets and even wearable touchscreen devices now use capacitive technology to sense touch commands. But unless you’re familiar with the nuances between the different types of touch -sensing technologies, you might be wondering why so many devices use capacitive rather resistive, SAW or similar technologies.
Increased Sensitivity to Touch Commands
Capacitive touchscreens are more sensitive to touch commands than other types of touchscreens. This means mobile device users can perform commands by touching the display surface of their device with less pressure. In some cases, just hovering your finger over the display surface will initiate a touch command. When this occurs, your finger will absorb some of the device’s electrical current, which the device detects as a touch command.
Support for Multi-Touch Commands
Another reason mobile device manufacturers prefer capacitive over other types of touchscreen technologies is because it supports multi-touch commands. While there are still resistive mobile devices on the market, they typically only support a single point of contact at any given time. In comparison, most capacitive mobile devices support two or more simultaneous points of contact. Known as multi-touch, it’s an innovative feature that allows users to perform unique commands like pinch to zoom.
Although there are exceptions, capacitive mobile devices generally last longer than resistive mobile devices. This is because resistive devices contain multiple layers that are pressed together with each touch command. Capacitive devices, on the other hand, project an electrostatic field to measure changes in capacitance. There aren’t as many moving parts in capacitive mobile devices, so they aren’t as likely to fail as their resistive counterparts.
Capacitive mobile devices offer a superior level of accuracy. Wherever you touch on the display is the area that the device will register as a command. Resistive mobile devices are designed with a high level of accuracy as well, but capacitive devices are usually more accurate.
Whether it’s Apple or Android, the majority of smartphones and mobile devices sold today are now powered by capacitive technology. As revealed here, it offers a higher level of sensitivity to touch commands, support for multi-touch commands, a longer lifespan and increased accuracy. Other touchscreen technologies won’t fade anytime soon, but the benefits of capacitive are hard for device manufacturers to ignore.