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Touchscreen Panels – Understanding The Tech Behind Them

Nov 1st 2014 at 3:44 AM

Think about it.. How fast have touchscreens taken over the tech world in the last one decade. Once, we just saw this technology as a fictional dream for the future in those highly action packed sci-fi movies. Today, you reach sown in your pocket and pull out that smartphone that actually runs on this system. There are computers with touch capabilities, tablets that bring the power of computing into the palm of your hand and even the small music players like iPods that have a touchscreen to switch from one track to another. How we made it from one day to the next without touchscreen monitors is simply unimaginable!


Let us take a step back and look at what exactly drives this technology and how it functions in terms of translating out touch into commands for the system to process. Here is a round-up of the workings of touchscreen panels.


The touchscreen is basically an input device. What makes it different is that it allows the user to directly interact with what is displayed on the screen rather than doing so with the help of a peripheral device such as a mouse or a keyboard. Way back in 1972, a professor for the University of Kentucky, named Sam Hurst, came up with the idea of and successfully invented the first touch sensitive panel. He called it the Elograph. His invention caught the eye of the Siemens Corporation which, in 1977, decided to fund his research and development work to produce the first glass touch sensitive interface which became the touch screen panel that we know today.


The Elograph was later developed into the Resistive touchscreen panel that is extensively used around the world. It has five main components - cathode ray tube, glass panel, sensitive coating, a separator dot, and conductive cover sheet. This panel allowed the use of fingertips, nails and even a stylus to generate the electrical impulses necessary for the user to interact with the system. It is durable, versatile and remains unaffected by outside contaminants like dust or water. Add to the list its inexpensive costing and you have the most popular format of touchscreen technology already!


There are however other types of touchscreen panels available in the market. First is the Surface Acoustic Wave type which identifies a touch with the help of a reduction of the acoustic signals at the point of contact on the screen. This variety is the most advanced of all but can be affected by outside contaminants like dust and water. Then there are the capacitive touch panels that store electrical charge which is drawn to the point of contact when touched. But this can only be worked with a finger.


There are many ways in which touchscreen technology has become a part of our lives today. They have also found their way into the industrial world with high end PCs using touch enabled monitors to control floor operations.


About The Author

Timothy Parker is a computing technology expert who believes touchscreen monitors and HMI to be the epitome of convenience and versatility. He recommends as the name to bank upon for all your touch panel PC requirements. Visit for more information on touchscreen monitors.

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