The Pros And Cons Of Capacitive Touchscreen Technology

touchscreenDesigners of kiosks, industrial PDAs, PoS terminals, digital signage, control panels, and any applications that require touchscreen technology always have to decide on the best technology for the product. There are several different types of technology to choose from: resistive, projected capacitive (PCAP), and surface acoustic wave (SAW) are the three most commonly used options. Thanks to its high optical clarity and light touch operation, SAW is mostly used in gaming applications, but resistive and PCAP are used in a wider range of devices with some overlap, meaning manufacturers sometimes have to weigh the pros and cons of the two options against the device’s function.

PCAP touchscreens are best known for their use in smartphones and tablets, as they offer multi-touch input and are the most popular with consumer electronics. The glass is coated with a conductor, usually indium tin oxide, or ITO, and a signal is produced from the electrical charge of the human touch. That’s why a smartphone can’t be operated with a stylus or a gloved hand, and why resistive technology remains popular in devices that might be used in extremely cold weather or operated with a stylus.

However, resistive touchscreens are quite common, too, and used in ATMs, PoS terminals, debit/credit machines, as well as industrial PDAs, such as the consoles couriers use when they need to collect a digital signature. The operator generates a signal by applying pressure to make contact between the two layers of glass, so it can easily be used even while wearing thick, heavy gloves. Ultra resistive touch screens, such as the type developed by A D Metro, are so durable and scratch-resistant that you could sign your name with a screwdriver without damaging the device, because it’s made to handle such improvisational tools and abuse.

One emerging trend in industrial PDAs has been the rise of capacitive touchscreens replacing resistive ones, which had up until recently been used almost exclusively in rugged mobile computing devices. Capacitive options remain more expensive but they have also become considerably stronger than in the past and can withstand some impact and abrasion, including vandalism, which means that if you drop it or bang it against something you won’t have to go out and replace it immediately. Capacitive touch screens in industrial PDAs are useful for a variety of indoor uses, especially in retail, where they can be used to expedite inspections, inventory, sales, or registration. Constructed out of 2 layers of glass and more durable than ever, the capacitive touchscreen from A D Metro is also suitable for indoor retail kiosks, such as ATMs, interactive digital signage, and QSR ordering kiosks, as well as retail and restaurant PoS terminals. Because they offer better displays, PCAP touchscreens always make for better consumer-facing devices, except where vandalism or the elements are a major concern.

One of the main drawbacks of PCAP technology has long been the development expense of controllers, with different controllers required for different screen sizes. You can reduce these development expenses, as well as the time it takes you to bring your device to market, by using PCAP touchscreens from A D Metro that use a common group controller for all sizes. That means the design is simpler and easier and you can save on development, reduce your inventory costs, and start selling your product sooner than ever. An innovative, adaptive supplier can help you get to market on budget and on deadline; it’s time to expect superior technology and lower costs from your supplier.

Published by Kidal Delonix (1196 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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