Touch technologies compared

PresTop has built up unmatched experience with all touch technologies currently available for production. We can advise you on the application and suitability of any touch technology in your product or project, fitting your usage and environmental requirements.


tech-ir

 

Infrared (IR)

Commonly used because of its comparatively low cost, infrared is widely available although it does have its drawbacks. The bezels around the edge of the screen house infrared receivers and transmitters. When a finger is placed in the (invisible) beam of IR light, the finger’s position is calculated.

  • check-sign Available in lengths up to 5 meters; suitable for large touch vidiwalls
  • check-sign Also works with gloves, pens and other objects (this can also be a disadvantage)
  • check-sign Newest technology reaches a precision of 1.5 mm object detection
  • check-sign Fast response times up to 4 ms
  • check-sign Up to 50 simultaneous touch points
  • check-sign Low cost
  • check-sign Perfect image clarity
  • check-sign Supports any glass thickness as IR is an on-top solution
  • check-sign Susceptible to interference from especially sunlight and halogen light sources
  • check-sign Bezels of a few mm high surround the screen; bezel-free design not possible
  • check-sign No object recognition, any object that breaks the beams counts as a finger
  • check-sign Touch response before actually touching the surface
  • check-sign Susceptible to dust and dirt buildup on the sensors

tech-pcap

 

Projected-capacitive (PCAP)

A mesh of extremely thin conductive wires, encapsulated in an adhesive transparent foil, is placed under the glass or polycarbonate top layer of the display. A finger placed on the screen affects the electrical field and the finger’s position is computed.

  • check-sign Bezel free, edge-to-edge design possible
  • check-sign Also works on curved surfaces
  • check-sign 40 touch points possible, up to 100 touch points in Microsoft Surface Hub
  • check-sign Fast response, 5-16 ms
  • check-sign Supports glass thickness up to 12 mm
  • check-sign Only works with fingers and conductive pens and gloves, not with other objects (can also be an advantage)
  • check-sign Does not work when wet
  • check-sign Wire thickness and structure varies between different vendors. Some are quite visible. Some cause a moiré pattern
  • check-sign Susceptible to electric noise, i.e. interference from some LED driver electronics and static electricity
  • check-sign Does take away some brightness of the display, approximately 5-10%
  • check-sign Size limited: over 65 inches in size, the distance between the wires in the mesh increases resulting in lower touch resolution. Fingers need to be at least 3-4 cm apart to be detected separately on these large screen sizes.
  • check-sign Lamination of the touch foil requires very high standards for an end product free of air bubbles, dust contamination or wrinkles and is ideally done in a cleanroom (which PresTop does)
  • check-sign Comparatively costly

3M™ Metal Mesh projected-capactive

A variation of PCAP which addresses several shortcomings.

  • check-sign Reduces optical degradation/greater clarity; less sparkle
  • check-sign Minimizes moiré pattern
  • check-sign Palm rejection
  • check-sign Up to 80 touch points
  • check-sign Fixed selection of glass

Readily available in the following sizes: 32, 42, 46, 55, 65”. Other sizes available on request.


 

ShadowSense™

A combination of IR invisible light emitters and optical sensors around the display. The “shadow” of an object in the IR rays is picked up by multiple optical sensors and computed to a position.

  • check-sign Virtually immune to ambient light interference
  • check-sign Object recognition and palm rejection
  • check-sign Perfect image clarity
  • check-sign Available from 8” to 267” diagonal screen size; suitable for large touch vidiwalls
  • check-sign Impervious to water or rain drops
  • check-sign Eliminates accidental touches based on size and speed of touch
  • check-sign Very fast response times of 6-8 ms
  • check-sign Perfect image clarity
  • check-sign Comprehensive diagnostics and customization using included Dashboard software
  • check-sign Recognizes passive pen and eraser inputs and differentiates them from finger inputs
  • check-sign Allow the user to register either hovering just above the surface, or requiring an actual touch
  • check-sign Supports any glass thickness as ShadowSense is an on-top solution
  • check-sign Bezels of a few mm high surround the screen; bezel-free design not possible
  • check-sign Limited to 10 independent simultaneous touch points
  • check-sign Susceptible to dust and dirt buildup on the sensors

Readily available in the following sizes: 32, 40, 46, 48, 55, 65, 70, 80, 86, 90”. Other sizes available on request.

 

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tech-shadowsense

 

InGlass™

Invisible light waves are reflected (“bounced”)  through the display’s top glass/polycarbonate. A finger placed on the glass affects the reflection, which is measured and calculated to a position. Image recognition technology distinguishes between fingers, hands and other objects.

    • check-sign The only technology that provides perfect image clarity with a bezel free, edge-to-edge design
    • check-sign Impervious to wetness and moisture
    • check-sign Also works with gloves, pens and other objects
    • check-sign Hand palm rejection capable
    • check-sign 1000 Levels of pressure detection
    • check-sign 40 Touch points available, 100 touch points capable
    • check-sign Perfect image clarity; no effect on brightness
    • check-sign 15” to 110” size capable
    • check-sign Up to 40 simultaneous touch points
    • check-sign Fixed selection of glass; not suitable for anti-glare glass
    • check-sign Glass thickness 3.2 mm, chemically strengthened. Not suitable for applications that require extra thick glass for rigidity or extreme impact-resistance

Readily available in the following sizes: 23, 42, 55, 65”. Other sizes available on request.


tech-optical

 

Optical

Two or more “cameras” are located in the corners and/or along the edges of the screen. An embedded controller recognizes the position of your finger. Not very common anymore.

  • check-sign Impervious to wetness and moisture
  • check-sign Also works with gloves, pens and other objects (this can also be a disadvantage)
  • check-sign Supports any glass thickness as optical is an on-top solution
  • check-sign Limited in the number of touch points
  • check-sign Susceptible to calibration issues
  • check-sign Bezels of a few mm high surround the screen; bezel-free design not possible
  • check-sign Touch response before actually touching the surface
  • check-sign Susceptible to dust and dirt buildup on the sensors

tech-resistive

 

Resistive

Resistive touch screens have moving parts. There is an air gap between two layers of transparent material. When the user applies pressure to the outer layer, it touches the inner layer at specific locations. An electric circuit is completed and the location can be determined.

  • check-sign Relatively low cost
  • check-sign Low sensitivity
  • check-sign Wear and tear, this is a mechanical device
  • check-sign Touch user experience is not up to par with modern consumer technology

tech-saw

 

Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW)

Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) touch screens work by using ultrasonic waves to detect touch events and the location of the user’s input. They operate in a similar way to beam break technology.

Like optical touch screens, the technology is also perimeter based, with the only difference being that sound waves are used instead of light.

A SAW touch screen is made up of a glass sheet with transmitting transducers, receiving transducers and reflectors. The transmitting transducers produce ultrasonic waves that skim over the surface of the screen, get reflected and are captured by the receiving transducers.

When a soft matter like human skin touches the screen, the surface acoustic waves are absorbed and the receiving transducers do not register any input. Based on this, sensors can calculate the location of the touch event.

  • check-sign Perfect image clarity
  • check-sign Very durable and can work even when the glass panel is scratched
  • check-sign Resistant to electromagnetic and ambient light interference
  • check-sign High resolution
  • check-sign Not affected by ambient noise as the transducers work with sounds that match preset frequencies
  • check-sign Supports any glass thickness as SAW is an on-top solution
  • check-sign Bezels of a few mm high surround the screen; bezel-free design not possible
  • check-sign Will not work with materials like pens that do not absorb ultrasonic waves
  • check-sign Can malfunction in the presence of foreign materials like water or oil droplets which can absorb the waves
  • check-sign Display latency during multi touch operations
  • check-sign Susceptible to dust and dirt buildup on the sensors
  • check-sign Does not support multi touch as the waves can be reflected off multiple objects, confusing the sensors
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