How Does Touch-Screen Technology Work?

It’s something we take for granted; a tap and a swipe on our smartphone to see the morning emails, then again to check the sports results and we are seeing touch-screen technology moving into other areas of our lives. Next time you are at your local shopping mall, check out the interactive touch-screen info boards that replace the traditional map-type signage. While it might not bring you benefits right now, knowing how touch-screen tech works might save the day with party conversation, and with that in mind, here is all you need to know about the inner workings of the touch screen.

Two Major Types of Touch Screen

  1. Resistive – This is the most basic touch screen, which bends slightly when enough pressure is exerted and the outer skin touches the inner layer, thus causing an action to occur. It might be an electronic pen that is used to press on the screen, or it might be finger activated; the pushing of the outer skin onto the inner membrane causes an electrical path to be created, which leads to another screen. These screens are durable and reliable, although the screen cannot always be seen clearly, depending on the viewing angle, plus resistive touch screens can only handle one instruction at a time, which is a limitation. Next time you use a touch-screen info board, a company such as TecDis Network would have installed and configured the equipment, which is known as white glove logistics. You would find these touch screens in restaurants, banks and shopping malls and they will be continuously developed and used until a better technology is discovered.
  2. Capacitive – Unlike the resistive type, capacitive touch screens do not use pressure to make the new connection, rather they work with anything that hold an electrical charge, which human skin happens to have. Copper and tin are used to make tiny wire connections that are thinner than a human hair, and when touched by a small electrical charge, a connection is made. That’s why you can operate a touch screen when wearing gloves, as the fabric does not hold electric current. This is more expensive than resistive touch screens, yet it does offer more in terms of what can be achieved. Here are a few ways that technology has benefitted the energy sector.

White Glove Logistics

There is a new sector called white glove logistics that employs qualified technicians to transport and install technical equipment that uses touch screen technology; this type of equipment demands manufacturer-approved technicians to install and maintain.

New Touch Screen Technologies

As you would expect, there are scientists and researchers looking for new ways to create touch-screen solutions, with something called ‘frustrated total internal reflection’ (FTRI) being used for larger expanse touch screens. When a person touches the screen, this scatters light, which is picked up by tiny cameras on the back of the screen, which is noted as an optical change. This system uses light rather than electrical impulses and it can be used for screens as large as 82 inches.