Types of Touch Screens and Technology Options

Different types of touch screens and options for interactive technology

Touch screen technology has come a long way and now the industry offers a variety of types of touch screens to choose from.  The new terminology for some of these options are defined below with a few pros and cons outlined.

Types of Touch Screens

SAW – (Surface Acoustic Wave) Touch Screens utilize a series of transducers and reflectors along the sides of the monitor’s glass plate to create an invisible grid of ultrasonic waves on the surface. When the panel is touched, a portion of the wave is absorbed. The receiving transducer locates the touch point, and sends this data to the controller. Resistive – A Resistive Touch Screen is composed of a glass panel covered with thin conductive and resistive metallic layers, separated by a thin space. When a user touches the screen, the 2 layers connect at that point. The computer detects the change in the electrical field and calculates the touch point.


Capacitive – In a Capacitive Touch Screen, an indium tin oxide sheet that stores a continuous electrical current is placed on top of the monitor’s glass panel. When an exposed finger touches the monitor screen, some of the electrical charge transfers to the user. This decrease in capacitance is detected and located by circuits located at each corner. The computer then determines the touch point.

★ Infrared Touch Screen ★ – Infrared touch screen monitors use vertical and horizontal infrared sensors around the perimeter of the touch screen. Creating a grid, the Touch Screen is able to pinpoint the exact location of where the screen is touched and send that information to the computer for processing. Infrared Touch Screen Monitors are very durable and commonly used for industrial and military applications.

Benefits of Infrared Touch Screens

  • Infrared (IR) technology is the latest and greatest technology on the touchscreen market. This means it is one of the most accurate options, pinpointed exactly where you touch.
  • With the IR frame being a separate piece from the glass, there is nothing that will dull, hinder, obstruct, impede, on the quality of the picture.
  • The glass covering the monitor can be as thick as one needs for security.
  • You can add any protective film over the glass depending on your needs, Advanced Kiosks offers films such as: Anti-Shatter, Anti-Fingerprint, Anti-Glare, Privacy Screen, Crystal Clear Protection.
  • Make the touchscreen a single touch or multi-touch depending on your application.
  • You can use the touchscreen with bare fingers or gloves.

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