Resistive and Capacitive Touchscreens: Understanding the Difference
By JB Burden
Most of our gadgets today feature touchscreens. We’ve long hand touchscreens on ATMs, supermarket check-out lines, and other public places. But you’ve probably noticed that the touchscreen on your smartphone or tablet works differently than the touchscreen at the bank drive-thru. Why is that?
The difference lies in the type of touchscreen, either resistive or capacitive.
- Resistive touchscreens sense pressure, from a finger press or a stylus. The surface of the resistive touchscreen flexes under pressure, and the machine detects where the pressure is coming from—that is, which part of the screen you’re touching.
- Capacitive touchscreens don’t rely on pressure, and for that reason they require just the lightest touch. Their electrodes respond to only certain objects, like fingertips. Because you don’t have to use great pressure on a capacitive screen, you can use light swipes and taps to operate the touchscreen.
Resistive touchscreens have the advantage of being slightly more accurate, and you can use objects besides just your finger to get them to work. Capacitive touchscreens require a specific kind of stylus to increase the sensitivity of the screen, and such a stylus can be more accurate than your finger.
|JB Burden has been reviewing, and researching TVs and Electronics for more than 9 years. His topical “interests” include pixel orbiters, louvered screen filters, and in-plane switching panels… among other things. See more about JB|
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