It’s something we already take for granted: when we touch an icon on the screens of our electronic devices, we expect something to happen. And not just anything, either; we expect our gadgets to do exactly what we want it to do, when we want it done, and all at the touch of a fingertip. It wasn’t too far back that touchscreen technology was a source of wonder. Nowadays, touchscreen technology is a given for most of the latest gizmos—from tablets to GPS units.
But how do touchscreens work? What is the technology behind them? Because there are various sorts of touchscreen the answer isn’t that simple. Here we will explain just a few.
This is the most common and the most affordable type of touchscreen technology today. With resistive technology, screens are coated with an electrically conductive layer. Your fingertip causes the electrical current to alter when you touch the screen. The device’s controller receives the data and preforms the action you requested.
Surface wave touchscreen
This form of touchscreen utilizes ultrasonic waves that pass over the screen. Whenever your finger touches the screen, you absorb part of the wave. This data is sent to the device’s controller and an action is preformed. Simple right?
Devices that rely on capacitive touchscreens tend to have the sharpest image quality. Capacitive touchscreens are coated with a material that sends a continuous electrical current over the sensor. Fortunately, the body is also a form of electrical device. Consequently when you touch the screen you absorb some of the current. The device registers this interruption, causing it to send information to its controller. The device will then perform the action that you requested.
Fortunately, to enjoy touchscreen technology you don’t have to have a deep understanding of it. And you don’t have to be an engineer to realize this technology will become more popular, not less.