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Basic Types of touch screens² a. Resistive«««««««««««««««««..3 b. Capacitive««««««««««««««««....4 c. Surface wave Technology«««««««««««5 d. Infra-red Matrix Touch Screens«««««««««6 e. Strain Gauge Touch Screens««««««««««7 5. Things to consider«««««««««««««««««....7 6. Main Touch Screen Components«««««««««««.....9 7. Applications and Uses««««««««««««««««.10
Compact designs can also benefit from touch screen technology. and mechanical force. Some Touch screens can work through a 2inch thick barrier. a touch screen¶s sensor uses one of five mechanisms. therefore. the screens eliminate the need for a separate keypad. acoustics. Touch screen technology comprises a variety of options that let you match the technology to your application. capacitance. . The devices are easy to use and can tolerate dirt and moisture that would quickly disable a keyboard or a mouse. For example. The first step in successfully applying Touch screens. This feature can protect both the system from user abuse and the user from the system¶s environment. You can make hand-held devices with Touch screens as small as the display itself. is to understand these options. resistance.What is Touch Screen Technology? Touch screens best suit applications that require frequent interaction with non-technical users or must work in dirty environments. Because Touch screens are integral to the display device. optics.
1970 US3798370: Electrographic Sensor For Determining Planar Coordinates Inventor(s) Hurst. 1972 / May 21. however. Patents US3662105: Electrical Sensor Of Plane Coordinates Inventor(s) Hurst. In 1977. The "Elograph" was not transparent like modern touch screens. . George S. Lexington. the company officially changed its name from Elographics to Elo TouchSystems. TN Issued/Filed Dates:March 19. . Oak Ridge. Lexington. George S. James E. In 1974. KY Parks. the first "touch sensor" was developed by Doctor Sam Hurst (founder of Elographics) while he was an instructor at the University of Kentucky. Elographics developed and patented fivewire resistive technology. 1972 . On February 24. 1994. it was a significant milestone in touch screen technology. KY Issued/Filed Dates:May 9. 1974 / April 17.History of touch screens In 1971. the first true touch screen incorporating a transparent surface came on the scene developed by Sam Hurst and Elographics. This sensor called the "Elograph" was patented by The University of Kentucky Research Foundation. . the most popular touch screen technology in use today.
These two layers are held apart by spacers. Once the coordinates are known. much as a computer mouse driver translates a mouse's movements into a click or a drag. and a scratch-resistant layer is placed on top of the whole setup. An electrical current runs through the two layers while the monitor is operational. The change in the electrical field is noted and the coordinates of the point of contact are calculated by the computer. . the two layers make contact in that exact spot. a special driver translates the touch into something that the operating system can understand. When a user touches the screen.Basic types of systems used for touch screens There are three basic systems that are used - Resistive The resistive system consists of a normal glass panel that is covered with a conductive and a resistive metallic layer.
some of the charge is transferred to the user. When a user touches the monitor with his or her finger. This gives the capacitive system a much clearer picture than the resistive system. from the relative differences in charge at each corner. a layer that stores electrical charge is placed on the glass panel of the monitor.Capacitive In the capacitive system. exactly where the touch event took place and then relays that information to the touchscreen driver software. whereas the resistive system only transmits about 75 percent. The computer calculates. One advantage that the capacitive system has over the resistive system is that it transmits almost 90 percent of the light from the monitor. This decrease is measured in circuits located at each corner of the monitor. . so the charge on the capacitive layer decreases.
The wave setup has no metallic layers on the screen. and can locate it accordingly. Another area in which the systems differ is in which stimuli will register as a touch event. allowing a touch with almost any object -. usually your finger. The surface acoustic wave system works much like the resistive system. in order to register a touch. This makes the surface acoustic wave system best for displaying detailed graphics (both other systems have significant degradation in clarity). which means that it doesn't matter if you touch it with your finger or a rubber ball.they reflect an electrical signal sent from one transducer to the other. The receiving transducer is able to tell if the wave has been disturbed by a touch event at any instant. must have a conductive input. A resistive system registers a touch as long as the two layers make contact. A capacitive system. allowing for 100-percent light throughput and perfect image clarity. .except hard and small objects like a pen tip. Also placed on the glass are reflectors -. two transducers (one receiving and one sending) are placed along the x and y axes of the monitor's glass plate.Surface acoustic wave On the monitor of a surface acoustic wave system. on the other hand.
These diode/sensor pairs establish an optical grid across the screen. causing drops in the corresponding photo sensor output signals.Infra Red Matrix Touch Screens It use an array of photodiodes on two adjacent screen edges with corresponding photo sensors on the opposite edges. . It also has no tactile sense so the user may falsely activate a touch since the activation will happen before the user actually feels the touch of the display with their finger. This type has no glass panel construction that may reduce visibility of the display.infinity. These drops indicate the touch point coordinates. Any object that touches the screen breaks the optical-grid lines that cross the touch point. Rather than simultaneously establishing all grid lines. IR screen controllers typically scan through the array. The life span is excellent .
This throws off the base vector values as initially calibrated and therefore the calibration. such as gravity. are highly susceptible to wear out and all Resistive types aresusceptible to surface damage because of their flexible outer layer. A touch to the display device translates to forces at the platform¶s base corners. and other contaminants that have no effect on some touch screens but can cripple others. a gloved finger. The controller tracks out static forces. You need only set the display on the touch base. a stylus. . calibrate and go. This type also has no glass panel construction that may reduce visibility of the display. such as Elo Touchsystems and MicroTouch. the monitor or display device rests on a platform with force measurement sensors at the corners of the base. Cracks quickly ruin that uniformity.infinity. Keep in mind also. Resistive touch screens are typically the least expensive option. Moisture. dust. therefore. The platform touch screen doesn¶t use a screen. The five wire screens. By understanding basic touch screen technology and your operating environment. your next step is to consider the conditions under which your system must work. Four wire resistive Touch screens. and repetitive forces. Resistive touch screens wear out because repeated flexing of the membrane can crack its resistive coating. Five wire screens. The ratio of the four readings indicates the touch point coordinates. the type of handling the system will receive. grease. which is more susceptible to vandalism. problems occur when the display is moved only a very small amount on the platform base or if even the display is tipped up or down for different heights of viewing. have addressed the damage and wear out problems of Resistive touch screens with the creation of tougher outer coatings and the adoption of the five wire approach. require only that the membrane be somewhat conductive. in contrast. have 35 million touches per point. Cracking must be severe to affect the five wire system¶s membrane.The Strain-gauge Touch Screen This screen have pressure sensors that measure at each corner the stresses that a touch to the screen produces. A system in a hospital will receive more reasonable care than a public information kiosk. Although most of the technologies are comparable in price. or any combination will activate your system. such as vibration. you can begin to evaluate the range of choices. Other factors may also have a bearing on your applications. whereas four wire systems offer only 1 to 4 million touches per point. Practically. The platform¶s controller performs the vector calculations that determine the touch point from the four force measurements through rigid body mechanics. The platform type is a good concept in theory because there is no integration of touch components into the display. Four wire touch screen membranes need uniform surface resistivity for the sensor to accurately determine touch points. Instead. The comparison chart shows some of the tradeoffs for various touch screen options. Things to Consider Once you understand the touch screen mechanisms. however. The life span is excellent . You need to know if a bare finger. Touch screen vendors.
and cost in scale with the array size. The calibration procedure prompts the user to touch a series of points on the display screen. that work with gloves and other insulating barriers. Unless you apply it carefully. than are four wire screens. do not affect its accuracy. however. any sealant that you use to make the touch screen water resistant dampens the acoustic signal. making accurate touch point determination impossible. Their main drawback is that the screens depend upon the user¶s conductivity for operation and typically don¶t work if the user is wearing gloves. have more possible points of failure. is merely a probe. The sensors are also subject to false readings based on shock and vibration to the pedestal. and even holes. A cut in a four wire screen¶s membrane compromises the membrane¶s ability to establish a uniform voltage gradient. such as cuts. The controller then calculates correction factors that accommodate irregularities in both the touch screen and the display. the optical grid floats above the screen. The five-wire system¶s membrane. resulting in possible misalignment between the measured and intended touch points if the user views the screen from an angle. Their drawback is the need for frequent calibration. such as accuracy limits and drift (the change of sensor calibration over time). so cuts. IR screens also suffer from parallax problems when used with curved screens.Five wire screens are also less affected by surface damage. When you place the display on the platform. Because the light must travel in a straight line from source to sensor. Having the optical sensor grid float above the screen also causes the touch sensor to register a touch before the user¶s finger reaches the display screen. The Strain-gauge Platform Touch Bases are the simplest to install in the field. If used with CRT displays having curved faces. Despite the overcoat of a protective thin layer of glass. The correction factors improve position accuracy to within 1%. Cuts and holes may create dead spots on the screen but don¶t totally disable the system. The sensors need recalibration whenever the display changes position on the pedestal. the conductive coating will eventually wear off through repeated touches. In settings in which the system must be water and contamination resistant. Capacitive touch screens had other drawbacks. The sealant may also make the screen inoperable. Acoustic touch screens prove troublesome. Capacitive touch screens are highly resistant to physical surface damage. This is accelerated when used in dirty environments where the dirt has abrasive properties. however. need special bezels for daylight use. One technology that appears to be declining is the Infra Red Matrix touch screen. This feature deprives the user of tactile feedback and could result in unintended activation of the screen. . Capacitive touch screens are all glass and have no flexing parts. As a result. IR screens are susceptible to dust and other contaminants. you must then calibrate the sensors. Dust. the optical grid that forms the touch-sensing surface must be flat. grease and water drops on the screen¶s surface can disturb the acoustic signal enough to degrade accuracy or even generate false touch indications. Vendors of the SAW type have come up with a gasket material which has open pores and allows the sound energy to pass through but this may not be enough as the open pores collect dust and dirt and in time cause the same problems of degraded accuracy. This displacement causes parallax between the display and the optical grid. The effect is most pronounced at the corners. You simply set the display on the pedestal. Unlike Resistive touch screens. Vendors have developed some Capacitive systems. Vendors have corrected both limitations such as improving the accuracy of capacitive screens using a multi-point calibration procedure built into the controller and software.
Further. the resistive system is the cheapest. The LED and sensor arrays of an IR touch screen need no substrate. The surface acoustic wave setup is usually the most expensive. It takes information from the touch sensor and translates it into information that PC can understand. Main Touch Screen Components Touch Sensor A touch screen sensor is a clear glass panel with a touch responsive surface which is placed over a display screen so that the responsive area of the panel covers the viewable area of the display screen. the touch point positioning cannot drift. As far as price. The many tradeoffs between touch screen technology options are subject to change. so the touch screen doesn¶t place anything between the display and the user that might reduce the display¶s brightness. These advantages may outweigh IR¶s limitations in many applications. its clarity is the lowest of the three. Controller The controller is a small PC card that connects between the touch sensor and the PC. and its layers can be damaged by sharp objects.The primary advantages of IR Touch screens are their clarity and immunity to drift. This voltage change is used to determine the location of the touch to the screen. . Vendors are constantly improving their technology to reduce or eliminate the drawbacks inherent in each choice. Vendors are also creating packaging that extends the utility of their Touch screens. because the array forms a stationary optical grid. The sensor generally has an electrical current or signal going through it and touching the screen causes a voltage or signal change.
1) Public Information Displays Tourism displays. seating. touch screen systems are easy to use so employees can get work done faster and also training time can be reduced for new employees. It tells the operating system how to interpret the touch event information that is sent from the controller. A touch screen is useful to make your information more easily accessible by allowing users to navigate your presentation by simply touching the display screen. Most touch screen drivers today are a mouse-emulation type driver. The touch screen interface is easier to use than other input devices especially for novice users.Software Driver The driver is a software that allows the touch screen and computer to work together. . Application & Uses Uses of Touch Screen The touch screen is one of the simplest PC interfaces to use. 2) Retail and Restaurant Systems In retail or restaurant environment. valuable counter space can be saved. making it the interface of choice for a large number of applications. reservation systems and more. Touch screens can be used in order entry stations. Following are uses of touch screen. This makes touching the screen the same as clicking your mouse at the same location on the screen. cash registers. trade show displays. Information kiosks and other electronic displays are used by large number of people that have little or no computing experience. As input is present right on the screen.
operators can monitor and control complex operations. . 4) Computer Based Training The touch screen interface is more user-friendly than other input devices so overall training time for computer novices and therefore training expense can be reduced. they can help make computing resources more available to people that have difficulty using computers.3) Control and Automation Systems The touch screen device is useful in systems ranging from industrial process control to home automation. It can also more useful to make learning more fun and interactive. Valuable workspace can be saved by integrating the input device with the display. When touch screen used with software such as on-screen keyboards or other assistive technology. which can lead to a more beneficial training experience for both students and educators. In real-time by simply touching the screen and with a graphical interface. 5) Assistive Technology The touch screen interface is very useful for those having difficulty using other input devices such as a mouse or keyboard.
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