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Touch Technologies Examined: Resistive and Surface Capacitive

 

Resistive and surface capacitive are two common touch technologies in smaller desktop monitors and displays ranging from 6 to 24 inches. Both technologies have their markets and uses. The tricky part is discerning when one technology might be a better choice than the other.


surface-capacitive
How Surface Capacitive Works: 

Surface capacitive touchscreens have a conductive coating on the front surface. Wires are attached to each corner, and a small voltage is applied to each of the corners. When the screen is touched, a small current flows to the touch point, causing a voltage drop. The drop is sensed by the four corners, allowing the sensor to pinpoint the exact touch point.

 

resistive

How Resistive Touch Technology Works:

Resistive touch technology has more applications. It overlaps with surface capacitive in the point-of-sale market; however, resistive touch can be found in markets such as PDAs, office automation, industrial, and medical. Resistive touch, in keeping with its name, is resistant to scratches and meets pencil hardness 4H per ASTM D3363.

It also is resistant to abuse, misuse, and accidents. It is extremely resistant to contaminants, which is one of the reasons it’s a preferred technology in medical markets. Unlike surface capacitive, resistive touch can be sealed to meet not only NEMA 4 and 12 but also 4x and IP 65 standards. It also can work with a number of touch inputs: bare finger, gloved finger, stylus, fingernails, and even credit cards.

Which Technology is Better?

It’s hard to say without considering the environment where the touch solution will be implemented and the expected use of it. Both points are crucial considerations, and we can help you figure out which technology you need.

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