CAPACITIVE VERSUS RESISTIVE TOUCH SCREENS

If you’re doing research on touch screens and have to decide which touch screen solution is the best choice for your business’ needs, the question of capacitive vs. resistive touch screens is sure to come up. While neither is better, per se, the difference between resistive and capacitive touch screens comes down to the style and manner in which they will be used.

CAPACITIVE TOUCH SCREENS

Although resistive touch screens are very popular, capacitive touch screens were actually invented first. Regardless of popularity, today’s capacitive touch screens respond instantly and are highly accurate. As opposed to resistive touch screens, capacitive touch screens makes use of the electrical properties of a human body.  Typically made of one insulating layer coated by a transparent conductive material on the inside, capacitive touch screens use conductivity produced by touch as input.  Since capacitive technology has the ability to transmit nearly 90% of the light from the screen, capacitive touch screens look brighter to the naked eye.

Advantages: looks brighter and sharper, highly touch sensitive – doesn’t require a stylus, supports multi-touch.

Disadvantages: doesn’t work if the user is wearing gloves, expensive due to complexity, glass is more prone to breaking.

Popular Uses: ATMs, vending machines, smart phones, tablets, POS terminals, handheld devices, gaming and entertainment purposes.

RESISTIVE TOUCH SCREENS

Comprised of several layers, resistive touch screens are the most common type of touch screen found in the market. Relying on resistance, the pressure applied by fingers causes the screen to respond. Due to the fact that slight pressure on the top layer of the touch screen transfers to the adjacent layer and causes a cascade of signals, anything can be used on resistive touch screens- including fingers (both bare and gloved), fingernails, and a stylus of any size or shape.  By being able to offer excellent durability and resolution, resistive touch screen technology is used in a variety of applications and environments.

Advantages: low production cost, high resistance to dust and water, can be operated with more than just a finger, ideal for handwriting recognition.


Disadvantages:
sensitivity is low – must press harder than when using a capacitive touch screen, poor contrast due to additional reflections caused by an extra layer of material placed over the screen, does not support multi-touch.Advantages: low production cost, high resistance to dust and water, can be operated with more than just a finger, ideal for handwriting recognition.

Popular Uses: most cell phones, PDAs, handheld consumer applications.

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