Phone Touch Screens: Projective, Infrared and More

Dec 4, 2020

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over a couple of the most basic options when it comes to smartphone and other touch screen technology. Touch screens, which are used not only in phones but also in several other areas, can be achieved today using a few different formats, each of which has its own qualities and benefits. At FixIT Mobile, phone screen repairs are some of our most common services when it comes to overall phone repair needs. We deal with every variety of smartphone touch screen, from iPhone screen options to numerous Android setups. Today’s part two of our series will go over a few of the other more advanced touch screen types out there today and how they work.

Projective Capacitive Touch Screens

Similar to the capacitive touch screens we went over in part one, the projected capacitive option contains a couple additional advantages. The first is responsiveness to other forms of touch: While capacitive touch screens only respond to a human finger or an approved stylus, projected capacitive options also respond to surgical or thin cotton gloves. In addition, this option allows for multi-touch capability where more than one finger touches the screen at once. This is achieved using a sheet of glass with a transparent electrode film and an IC chip, which forms a 3D electrostatic field. Any touch to the screen changes the electrical current, which allows the device to detect a touch point. Projected capacitive screens are enormously popular in modern smartphones, including the iPhone, and is also used in several other industries due to its quality and durability.

Infrared Touch Screens

Infrared is very different from the other forms of technology we’ve gone over to this point for touch screens. Rather than using an extra layer to overlay the screen, these types use light beam interruption.

To get more specific, infrared emitters and receivers within the screen create an invisible grid of light beams. Whenever anyone touches the screen, they interrupt these light beams and allow the device to detect the touch. This format allows for multi-touch and also doesn’t require the application of pressure, which makes this an attractive option for many. Even if this screen becomes scratched, for instance, it still works at 100% capacity. In addition, other objects can be used to touch this screen. One minor downside, however, is that these screens may be impacted by direct sunlight.

SAW Touch Screens

Finally, the SAW screen refers to Surface Acoustic Wave, which uses transducers to create ultrasonic waves on the screen surface. When the screen is touched, these waves are absorbed, and the receivers locate the touch point. SAW screens respond to both human touch and many other inputs, plus offer great clarity and visibility. However, they cannot be activated with fingernails or other hard objects, and may risk false touches every now and then.

For more on various touch screen technology options for phones and other areas, or to learn about any of our phone repair, tablet repair or other device repair services, speak to the staff at FixIT Mobile today.