Capacitive touch panels consist of two layers of glass that are coated with a conductive agent and register touch by reacting to the minor electrical charges that run through our bodies. When a user touches the screen with their bare finger it causes a change in the capacitance value of the screen surface that registers the exact point where the screen has been touched; often this technology involves the use of a built-in flexible circuit assembly known as a COF (chip on flex).

The newest variety of capacitive touch screens, called PCAP (projected capacitance) is even further advanced at sensing touch and allowing for a water-clear display.  Cap touch screens can also register touch in up to twelve places simultaneously, which allows functions such as enlarging images on a screen.

Smartphone manufacturers have now solely adopted PCAP touch screens because of their extreme accuracy and ability to work even after the screen has been scratched or cracked. Because PCAP touch screens rely on using the minor electrical charges that run though our bodies, they have historically only worked when they were touched with a bare finger or a conductive stylus, tool or gloves.  New developments in technology, however, are allowing cutting edge touch panel manufacturers the ability to make projected capacitance products that can be used with gloves and other not-so-conductive implements.

Capacitive Touch Screens Advantages

Projected capacitive touch screens are typically more expensive but deliver durability and accuracy that make them desirable for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Advantages of PCAP touch screens include:

  • Greater accuracy and faster response
  • Requires less pressure to register touch than resistive screens
  • Can support up to 12 multitouch interfaces
  • Continues to work even when the screen is cracked, pierced or scratched
  • Higher contrast and exceptional image quality
  • Screens should not become unresponsive over time

Potential disadvantages of capacitive touch panels are that they are more expensive and may not be able to withstand extreme temperatures or harsh environments.

Contact Us to Learn More About Conductive Touch Screens

SSI Electronics offers a variety of standard and custom capacitive touch screen products to meet your unique requirements.

Use our touch screen design guide to help select the right product for your application or contact us to request a quote or learn more about conductive touch screen options and benefits.