Resistive touch and capacitive touch technologies were rarely household topics of conversations but with the advent of the iPhone and the acceptance of touch screens dominating every point of sale, bank transaction as well as musical selection, its hard not to notice people talking about the inner workings and future of touch screen technology. The real future of touch belongs to capacitive touch technology.
A capacitive touch screen panel is coated with a thin indium tin oxide material that conducts continuous electrical currents across a sensor- say a touch screen of an iPhone. So it exudes a controlled electronic field in both a vertical and horizontal axis and therefore is capacitive. In order for the capacitive technology to function, it must be touched by something else that also exhibits electricity- like the human body. When a persons finger touches a capacitive screen, it sends an electric current to then form a mathematical function which signals an action.
Until recent attention was drawn to capacitive touch technology, it was considered too expensive and delicate to use in touch screen products like grocery store check out kiosks or toys. Resistive touch screens use a different, more durable technology that most of us often see and are affected by objects like a stylus pen or physical pressing onto a button which signals the resistive screen in a toy lets say. Now, thanks to the iPhone and fun products like the Microsoft coffee table with a capacitive touch screen, we could see an increase in factory production of capacitive sensors, thus reducing the cost of capacitive touch technology.
Future of Capacitive Touch
Since an overwhelming majority of Americans use a touch screen device at least once a day, its not surprising to see the value in all that capacitive touch has to offer. From car navigation touch screens to aviation, the touch screen phenomenon is far from over. Even bars in Las Vegas have touch screen technology inside them where customers are able to write on the bar, draw and play with light. Soon, patrons will be able to set their check cards onto a touch screen table and instantly pay for their meal. The digital camera created a boom for digital pictures and all accessories that went with it. Touch screens of the future will allow users to play with their digital images using a virtual scrapbook tool, enabling photos to enlarge and shrink, flip and move.
Much much more touch technology is heading our way and perhaps new touch security will come with it. Instead of anyone being able to touch your capacitive touch screen, phone or car screen, a fingerprint lock will only allow the registered user to have access. In less than 10 years, we will not only continue to talk about capacitive touch technology, we will be listening with it, wearing it and standing on it.