Capacitive Touchscreens

Capacitive touch screens are control displays that utilise the electrical properties of the human body as input.

When a finger (or specialised input device, such as stylus) comes in contact with the display it detects when and where on the display the user touches it. As a result capacitive displays can receive accurate input from very light touches.

How does a Capacitive Touchscreen Work?

Capacitive touch screens are built with a thin layer of conductive material, such as copper or Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), printed onto the underside of the display's insulating outer layer. When a finger touches the screen, a small electrical charge is drawn to the point of contact, which effectively becomes a functioning capacitor. The resulting change in the electrostatic field is then measured to pinpoint where the contact took place.

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Types of Capacitive Touchscreen

Capacitive touch screen technology comes in two key types – projective and surface.

With surface capacitance, the more basic of the two technologies, only one side of the insulator is coated with the conductive layer.

In contrast, projected capacitance makes use of a matrix of rows and columns of conductive material on one or two layers. This grid pattern allows for superior accuracy and multi-touch functionality.

capacitive touchscreen

Benefits of Capacitive Touchscreen Technology

At present, capacitive touch screen technology offers a number of key benefits:

  • High touch sensitivity and accuracy
  • Support for multi-touch
  • Sharp and vibrant images
  • Can be used without a stylus
  • Reliability - even cracked or pierced, capacitive touchscreens usually continue to function
  • Popularity of the technology grants a level of future-proofing

Capacitive touchscreens are constantly evolving, becoming thinner with progressively more vibrant and sharper images with each development. GTK can even offer fine-tuned capacitive sensors that work with heavy duty gloves.

Capacitive touchscreen on sat nav device

Core Features

  • Faster than resistive touchscreens
  • Works with a finger or stylus
  • Can receive accurate input from light touches
  • Support for multi-touch
  • Reliable even when damaged
  • Sharp and vibrant colours

Product Applications 

  • Medical devices
  • Door access controls
  • Energy monitoring
  • Industrial UI
  • Handheld devices