How Do Touchscreens Work? — Did you wonder ever?

Touch screens have made various devices simpler to use. With a simple tap, a little swipe and the required task is done. You will find them everywhere from smartphones to laptops, computers, mp3 players. They are everywhere, but How do Touchscreens Work? Let’s find out.

How do Touchscreens Work?

What enabled smartphones to dominate as a technology- to be so prolific and critical to our lives that we would rather lose our car keys or wallet than our smartphones. The answer to this question is not a simple one-liner, but rather it is a combination of answers, app development, wireless internet, and carrier networks. We use many technological devices starting with smartphones, and tablets. All of them use touchscreen technology in it, but how do touchscreens work?

Resistive Touchscreen

One of the most basic systems mostly used in ATMs is the resistive touch screen system. Resistive touchscreens consist of two electrically conductive layers. One of them is a conductive layer, and the other one is resistive. These two layers are separated by spacers, which keep them apart until you touch them.

A scratch-resistant layer on top completes the whole setup. At all times, an electrical current runs through the two layers. When you touch the screen, the two layers of the screen are pressed together, and the electrical current changes at the place you contact.

The change in the electrical field and its coordinates are calculated by the device’s software and it further carries out a function corresponding to that spot. Although this system is consistent and durable, resistive touchscreens can only handle one touch at a time. That is why high-end devices most likely use capacitive touch screens.

Capacitive Touchscreen

Now, how does a capacitive touch screen system works? In the capacitive system, a layer that stores electrical charge constructed from materials like copper or indium tin oxide is used. Sensors at the corners and a protective casing complete the whole setup. A minute amount of voltage is applied at all corners of the touch screen.

You see your body can conduct electric current, so when a user touches this screen with his or her finger, some of the charges are transferred to the user. This is sensed at each corner of the screen.

That relative difference aids the software to find exactly where the touch took place, and further, it carries out the function corresponding to that spot. Iphones, most mid-range to high-end smartphones, tablets and computers use this system.

Infrared Touchscreen

The next less common and less precise one is the infrared touch screen system. It consists of light-detecting photocells, and LEDs arranged on the opposite sides of the screen, and the LEDs shine infrared light in the forepart of the screen like an invisible thing.

If you touch the infrared screen at a defined point, you interrupt two or more beams. This process aids the screen controller to find the exact location of the touch and the corresponding function is performed. Since you are interrupting a beam, infrared screens work just as well whether you use your finger or a stylus or even using it with gloves on.

In the case of a capacitive touch screen, wearing gloves and operating it will not work, since a glove does not conduct electric current. You can find infrared touch screens mostly used in Amazon Kindle Touch and Sony Ebook readers, and there is another fascinating technology, which surprisingly detects your fingers using sound instead of light.

Ultrasonic sound which is too high-pitched for humans to hear is reflected back and forth across its surface. When you touch the screen, you interrupt the sound beam, and the location of the touch is calculated, and we think we will be seeing this in most devices in the future.

Which Touchscreen Technology do you think is the Best?

What do you think about the touchscreen technologies, is not it amazing? Which touchscreen technology do you think is the best? Do you own any touchscreen devices and what touch screen system does it have? Share your thoughts with us.

Related Articles