Touchscreen

Touchscreen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems as if touchscreens are making their way into almost every electronic device these days, from cell phones to televisions and everything in between.

The ability to control a personal computer, smart phone, television, or digital kiosk using nothing more than your fingertip creates an interactive experience that is superior to the old-fashioned mouse or key navigation that has been utilized for decades.

Touchscreens are not only more fun to use than conventional monitors, they’re also easier to become accustomed to, especially for individuals who are not technically inclined.

There are currently three major types of touchscreens seen on the market today…

  • SAW
  • Optical
  • Resistive

Resistive Touch Screen TechnologyResistive Technology

Many companies utilize resistive touchscreens because they’re liberal sensitivity allows them to be operated with a fingertip, pen, or anything else that serves as a pointing device.

Unfortunately, resistive screens are not very impressive aesthetically because a layer of metal oxide between the screens affects color quality and brightness.

Optical Touch Screen TechnologyOptical Technology

Optical touchscreens are the most advanced, and are therefore slowly replacing resistive screens as the most popular. Also, optimal touchscreens are ultra-sensitive because they rely on motion sensor technology, so users can actually perform actions simply by waving their finger within centimeters of the screen.

For this reason, optical touchscreens tend to stay cleaner and have a better display quality than other types of touchscreens.

SAW Touch Screen TechnologySAW Technology

SAW, Surface Acoustic Wave, touchscreens operate through echolocation to detect interruptions in ultrasonic sound pulses. As a result, they are able to accurately determine the exact location of a cursor movement or click. Although SAW touchscreens are considered reliable they have considerably slower response times than optical and resistive touchscreens.


Most smart phones and newer touchscreen computers utilize optical touchscreens, while less common electronic devices like ATMs and low-level kiosks utilize resistive or SAW touchscreens. As touchscreens continue to become more advanced, it is likely that they’ll be incorporated into every type of electronic device in which their use is applicable.

Protouch, a prominent UK manufacturer of digital kiosks and touchscreens for over a decade, plays a major part in this technology while making it affordable and usable to the end user.

Image Sources: www.planartouch.com, www.touchscreen-me.com, wikimedia.org