How Does a Touchscreen Work?

  • ChemPubSoc Europe Logo
  • DOI: 10.1002/chemv.201700011
  • Author: ChemViews Magazine
  • Published Date: 04 April 2017
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: How Does a Touchscreen Work?

Touchscreens are everywhere today, from phones and tablets to ticket machines and medical devices. The most common technologies are resistive and capacitive touchscreens. Apart from these, there are a number of other, less commonly used mechanisms, for example, based on infrared light, induction coils, sound, or the piezoelectric effect.

Resistive Touchscreens

One of the first technologies, still often used today, especially when operability with gloves is desired

Resistive touchscreen



+ resolution of touch extremely good

- deformation during operation limits lifetime

Capacitive Touchscreens

Most common technology, used for mobile phones and tablets

Capacitive Touchscreen



+ all grid points measured individually, can capture several touches at the same time (known as multitouch)

+ image quality slightly increased compared to resistive touchscreens, since there is less ITO between the eye and the display

- cannot be operated with isolators such as gloves or pens


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