Difference between resistive and capacitive touch panel

Capacitive Touch Screen

Projected capacitive touch screen contains X and Y electrodes with insulation layer between them. The transparent electrodes are normally made into diamond pattern with ITO and with metal bridge.

Human body is conductive because it contains water. Projected capacitive technology makes use of conductivity of human body. When a bare finger touches the sensor with the pattern of X and Y electrodes, a capacitance coupling happens between the human finger and the electrodes which makes change of the electrostatic capacitance between the X and Y electrodes. The touchscreen controller detects the electrostatic field change and the location.

Resistive Touch Screen

A resistive touch screen is made of a glass substrate as the bottom layer and a film substrate (normally, clear poly-carbonate or PET) as the top layer, each coated with a transparent conductive layer (ITO: Indium Tin Oxide), separated by spacer dots to make a small air gap. The two conducting layers of material (ITO) face each other. When a user touches the part of the screen with finger or a stylus, the conductive ITO thin layers contacted. It changes the resistance. The RTP controller detects the change and calculate the touch position. The point of contact is detected by this change in voltage.

Which Is Better Capacitive or Resistive Touchscreen?

  Resistive Touch Screen Capacitive Touch Screen
Manufacturing Process Simple More complicated
Cost Lower Higher: Depending on size, number of touches
Touch Screen Control Type Requires pressure on the touchscreen. Can sense proximity of finger.
Power Consumption Lower Higher
touch with thick gloves Always good more expensive, need special touch controller
Touch Points Single Touch Only Single, two, gesture or Multi-Touch 
Touch Sensitivity Low High (Adjustable)
Touch Resolution High Relatively low
Touch Material Any type Fingers. Can be designed to use other materials like glove, stylus, pencil etc.
False Touch Rejection False touches can result when two fingers touch the screen at same time. Good Performance
Immunity to EMI Good Need to special design for EMI
Image Clarity Less transparent and smoky looking Very high transparent especially with optical bonding and surface treatment
Sliders or Rotary Knobs Possible, but not easy to use Very good
Cover Glass None Flexible with different shapes, colors, holes etc.
Overlay Can be done No
Curve Surface Difficult Available
Size Small to medium Small to very big size
Immunity to Objects/Contaminants on Screen Good Need to special design to avoid false touch
Resistant to Chemical Cleaners No Good
Durability Good Excellent
Impact Ball Drop Test Surface film protected Need special design for smash
Scratch Resistance As high as 3H As high as 9H
UV Degradation Protection Less protection Very good

What Are Resistive Touch Screens Used For?

Resistive touch screens still reign in cost-sensitive applications. They also prevail in point-of-sale terminals, industrial, automotive, and medical applications.

What Are Capacitive Touch Screens Used For?

Projected Capacitive Touch Panel (PCAP) was actually invented 10 years earlier than the first resistive touchscreen. But it was no popular until Apple first used it in iPhone in 2007. After that, PCAP dominates the touch market, such as mobile phones, IT, automotive, home appliances, industrial, IoT, military, aviation, ATMs, kiosks, Android cell phones etc.

If you have any questions about Orient Display capacitive touch panels. Please feel free to contact: Sales Inquiries, Customer Service or Technical Support.

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