An Overview of 5-Wire Resistive Touch Screen Technology

 In News

Whether for recreational purpose or your business, buying a touchscreen needs proper consideration. Thanks to ongoing technology advancements, today, we have various types of touchscreens in the market. But purchasing which type depends on your requirements and usage.

Capacitive and resistive touchscreens are on top as a popular choice. Tablets, smartphones, human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and many other touchscreen devices use these kinds of touchscreen types. Among these, resistive touchscreens are said to be older but are a reliable touch technology having several variants. In this post, we will look specifically at 5-Wire Resistive touchscreens.

Overview of 5-Wire Resistive Touch screen Technology
The 5-wire resistive touchscreen technology has transparent conductive coatings on the inside of both the top and bottom layers. There are electrodes places at the four corners on the bottom conductive layer and connected to the flexible circuit tail of the sensor. The top layer is connected with just one wire and is used as a voltage probe for the sensor. This is why it is called a “5-wire” type of resistive. Through the electrodes, the controller sends voltage across the conductive bottom layer in alternating horizontal then vertical directions. The top layer, which is separated from the bottom layer by tiny spacer dots, sends the voltage in alternating X and Y planes to the controller when depressed by a touch and the touch coordinate is then calculated.

Gloved Finger or Stylus- It can Feel the Touch
Resistive touchscreen devices can recognize touch commands from a bare finger, gloved finger or stylus. 5-Wire resistive touch screen devices are no exception. Unlike capacitive touch screens, these do not depend on bare human finger capacitance to activate touch commands. A gloved finger or a stylus easily makes the device identify the touch, as pressing the surface of
5-wire resistive touch screens allow the top layer to come in contact with the bottom layer. Electrodes placed on the bottom layer detects the location of a user’s touch command and reflects the result. In stark contrast, capacitive touchscreen devices can work only with bare fingers, very light gloves or special capacitive stylus pens. This is one of the reasons, why many businesses still prefer using 5-wire resistive touch screens for their devices.

It offers a Cost-Effective and Durable Solution
When it comes to durability, 5-wire resistive touch screens are preferred over 4-wire and other types of touchscreen technologies. There is a valid reason for this. Since the electrodes are placed on the bottom layer, the voltage is measured from this layer only. Since the bottom layer is made of a rigid material such as glass, it doesn’t bend and the conductive coating on it never gets worn out. The top layer is flexible and does bend between the spacer dots and is susceptible to wear but since it is only used a no-load voltage probe, there can be quite a bit of wear of the conductive coating without any noticeable difference on the voltage reading it takes. This makes it last 10 times longer than 4-wire resistive.

Additionally, 5-wire resistive touch screens can be easily integrated into many applications, at much lower development costs than capacitive touch screens. Thus, its durability and development cost offer the most economical solution for devices with heavy-use or high-traffic applications, specifically in commercial and industrial applications.

A D Metro has made 5-wire resistive touchscreens more reliable by introducing its patented ULTRA resistive solutions. AD Metro offers waterproof and armored glass surface 5-wire resistive touchscreens making it more durable to use.

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