It’s no secret that touch screens are the future of computing. It is a natural progression from the mouse and keyboard to a world where you can interact with your devices by touching them. The benefits? Touch screens are durable and portable, require much less power than traditional computers, and have more intuitive user interfaces.
Capacitive screens are touchscreens that work by sensing the electrical properties of objects. They use a capacitor, a two-plate electric device where electrons can be moved from one plate to another to sense the touch of a finger on the screen. When you put your finger on the screen, it changes the capacitance, and this change is detected by the processor or controller inside the tablet or phone.
Here are some advancements in capacitive touch technology that are worth noting:
1- Multi-Touch Functionality
Adding multiple touchpoints to your screen gives users more control and creates a better experience. Like the iPhone, devices like the iPhone have shown that people enjoy using their devices with gestures rather than tapping on tiny icons or buttons. While single-touch technology is still developing, multi-touch functionality can be done today with capacitive screens using conductive styluses. For example, the iPad does this by placing a mesh of wires under the surface to detect multiple touches.
2- Multi-Color/Contrast Capability
The color and contrast of capacitive displays have improved so much over the past few years that it’s now possible for tablets to mimic newspaper print – an advancement from backlit LCDs, which are notoriously difficult to read outdoors. But, of course, we also know that higher contrast screens make for easier reading. In addition, capacitive touch technology has the potential to lend itself to pressure-sensitive styluses, adding more depth and control when it comes to sketching or drawing on your screen.
3- Existing Touchscreen Technology
Traditional resistive touchscreen technology works by creating a grid of wires that cross-hatches your screen. When you press down on the top layer of glass onto the bottom layer, the wires transfer that pressure into an electrical current which is then sent through those wires to detect where exactly you touched. This design makes it difficult to create multi-touch functionality because these lines create “blind spots” in areas where two lines intersect your screen. You also have difficulty with hard objects touching the screen; if you’re tapping on your mobile device with a pen or pencil, obstructing the top layer of glass, it isn’t going to make contact with the electrical grid underneath. That’s why styluses work best with resistive screens.
Capacitive technology is very different from resistive because electrodes are embedded in the glass itself rather than in a separate layer. This means you can create multi-touch functionality without having lines cross out other lines and make hard objects like pencils less of an obstruction. You won’t need to use a conductive stylus for every capacitive screen either; these screens pick up electrons from any object that comes into contact with them, meaning you could use your finger or even your fingernail in some instances.
Screen manufacturers have already begun working towards eliminating the need for resistive or capacitive screens by creating a surface so sensitive that it can register when you’re breathing on it. This technology is called Graphene, and it could use your exhaled moisture to map out letters, numbers, and even shapes on a touchscreen. Of course, this is only in development right now, but things like these are paving the way for the future of touch technology – advancements that will make our mobile devices more useful than ever before.