By ADMetro In
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Ultra Resistive Touchscreens

Resistive & Capacitive Touchscreens: Know How These Two Popular Touch Solutions Differ

With the increasing demand for touch devices, there are many different solutions available for touchscreen sensors. However, the two most conventional yet popular technologies – resistive and capacitive touchscreens still dominate the market. This is particularly due to the availability of enhanced and innovative solutions designed around these two technologies.

Resistive and Capacitive touchscreens are much different from each other – from operations to quality. For instance, resistive touchscreens are pressure-activated, whereas capacitive touch technology uses electrical properties of the human body as an electrical conductor to identify the touch point. When a finger is placed on the screen, it forms a capacitive coupling that either bleeds off some of the emitted radio frequency from the sensor’s surface in the case of “self-capacitive” operation or in the case of “mutual capacitive”, the finger touch couples an X and Y trace on the sensor allowing radio frequency to flow from one to the other.

Resistive touchscreen sensors use an analogue switch technology that is pressure activated. They involve two conductive coated layers, usually Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), facing each other and separated by a layer of tiny dielectric spacer dots. When pressure is applied to the top surface, the two layers come into contact allowing the controller to locate the touch point.

Here are a few points to underline the major differences between Resistive & Capacitive Touchscreen sensors.

Different Methods of Input
Besides the different methods of touch activation discussed above, the methods of input are also not similar in resistive and capacitive touchscreens. Applications with capacitive touchscreens allow only finger or conductive stylus. Resistive touchscreen applications work fine with direct finger touch, gloved finger, and a stylus. That is because capacitive touchscreen devices utilize the electrical properties of the human body for input. While resistive touchscreens can be operated by anything that provides surface pressure that allows the two layers to come into contact upon touch.

Multi-touch Support
Although most resistive touch supports only single touch. However, there are 2-touch solutions for resistive from A D Metro with their newly developed 2-touch resistive controller. When it comes to multi-touch capability, capacitive touch devices stand out among their counterparts, as they support multi-touch of up to 10 simultaneous touch points or more. They make excellent choices for many industrial and commercial applications requiring multi-touch functions.

Surface Material
Capacitive touch sensors are designed with a glass surface that allows an electrical charge to pass through the glass surface to interact with the invisible conductive traces inside. On the other hand, the resistive touch sensors are designed with synthetic plastic material or Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) material making up the outer surface layer.

Although we are not ruling out the exceptions. A D Metro, a leading manufacturer and supplier of an innovative range of touchscreens, offers glass armored ULTRA resistive touch sensors made with flexible but tough very thin glass surfaces.

Cost of Production
Resistive touchscreens are the obvious and preferred choice for applications that require economical touch sensor solutions. These are easy to integrate and embed in applications and incur lower development costs to allow for inexpensive touchscreen devices.
On the other hand, applications that require capacitive touchscreens incur more costs for production. Further, the increased production cost leads to a higher sale price of the device.

Bottom Line:
For an economical yet durable solution for your touch applications, you can consider A D Metro’s ULTRA glass armored resistive touchscreen sensors. These are innovative armored touchscreens that help overcome the limitations of standard resistive touchscreen sensors. They are made of durable borosilicate glass surfaces that are resistant to water, scratches and abrasion and are impervious to most chemicals. They can reliably be operated by a finger, gloved finger or stylus. Given their operability in extreme weather conditions, and resistance to contaminants, ULTRA resistive touchscreens are the perfect fit for usage in rugged environments such as defense, transportation, medical and other extreme operating applications.


Ask the touch screen experts at A D Metro