Projected Capacitive is quickly becoming the leading multi-touch screen technology due to its ultra-clear optics, high accuracy, and extreme durability. Check out Touch International’s new multi-touch video to see projected capacitive in action.
Previously published in the October edition of ECE Magazine, this article written by Helen Francis from Atmel summarizes test results using gloved hands to operate capacitive touch sensors. The article stipulates that the subject must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but says that in general, it is possible to use touch panels as a human-machine interface, even in environments where gloves must be worn. Read the full article to learn more.
Hey Touch Guy,
My company is developing a sleek new GPS and we’re looking for the right touch solution. We’ve looked at projected capacitive touch screens, but feel the cost will push our product’s price point up too much. Our touch screen requirements are:
So I hear it is so frigid up there right now that cold fusion once again might be proven. The marketing lady wants a fast answer so she can go home for the holidays, so the answer is, buy projected capacitive!
The biggest reason people think projected capacitive is more expensive than resistive is that you are buying a different product. Resistive touch panels and projected capacitive touch panels are made of the same materials, but the processing is a little different. Resistive touch panels are usually mounted between a bezel and an LCD, and boom, you’re done. However, Touch Guy finds that nobody wants a projected capacitive panel that way. Instead they want the touch panel to BE the bezel and front of the product; they suddenly want zero borders around the edges, the cover lens should have pretty colors, rounded corners, button holes and be almost unbreakable. Oh, and add a high-tech sunlight readable coating, and, for good measure, throw in an anti-fingerprint finish. Guess what….it costs more!!!
The electronic controllers for projected capacitive panels are more expensive than for resistive touch panels, but competition has dramatically dropped the unit price this year. A controller chip for a resistive panel might be less than $1 (or free, if included in the ASIC).
The bottom line is you can either adhere to your requirements and buy projected capacitive or you can lower your standards and buy resistive, cause there ain’t no way you are going to get good optics and scratch resistance with that one. So wedge a projected capacitive sensor into your GPS bezel, put the control electronics into the ASIC, and you will pay about the same price as resistive, and you’ll get multi-touch, with cool, must-have-features, like flick, expand map and pinch.
So with that, my duties as Touch Guy have been fulfilled for 2010!
(And maybe now I can get the marketing lady off my back…)
Until next year,