Touchscreens are becoming an integral part of our everyday life. When we interact with a product that has a touchscreen, we expect it to execute the action we want without a second thought. It wasn’t too far in the past that the concept of a touchscreen was a dream. Yet, today we see it as a common feature in many devices.
But how do touchscreens work? What's the technology behind them? Because there are many different types of touchscreen the answer isn’t that simple. Here we will explain just a few.
This is the most common form of touchscreen technology. Resistive touchscreens are coated with an electrically conductive layer. Your fingertip changes the electric current whenever you touch it. This delivers a message to the device’s controller telling it what action you would like to perform. This technology is more affordable than other touchscreen technologies and also less sensitive.
Surface wave touchscreen
This kind of touchscreen is popular as well. It relies on ultrasonic waves that pass over the touchscreen. When you touch the panel, you essentially change the wave. Depending on how and where it is changed, specific data is given to the device's controller to relay what action to preform.
This technology tends to produce the sharpest image quality. Much like the resistive technology these screens are coated with a substance that sends an electrical current continuously across the screen. When you touch the screen you absorb some of the current, which in turn disrupts the flow. This information is then sent to the controller and the action that you requested is executed.
It’s a good thing we don’t have to grasp the touchscreen technology to enjoy it. But it is nice to have a grasp, if only slightly, on how a technology works that we use everyday, particularly as we know that touchscreen technology isn’t going away any time soon