LCD Touch Screen

Photo courtesy of TFDuesing(CC Attribution)

Industrial LCD Touch Screen monitors are available with several kinds of touch technology. Each kind of touch screen has different characteristics, so it is important for you to know which is which, to make sure your LCD touch screen works smoothly and lasts in your application. The touch screen types offered in CyberVisuell industrial LCD’s are:
  • Resistive Touch
  • Capacitive Touch, with either 3mm thick glass or 6mm anti-vandal glass
  • Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Touch, with either 3mm thick glass or 6mm anti-vandal glass
  • Projected Capacitive Touch, with multiple points and optional anti-vandal glass
  • Infra-Red Touch, with single or multi-point
To choose the best touch technology you need to consider the following characteristics:

Gloved Hand vs. Bare Fingers

Will your operators always be using the touch screen with bare fingers, or will they wear gloves or use a stylus? Capacitive touch screens are only sensitive to bare fingers, so they will not work properly with gloved hands (unless the gloves are very thin). Resistive touch screens are usually the best solution for gloved hands in an industrial environment, although Projected Capacitive touch can also be used.

Scratch Resistance

Is the screen likely to get scratched by hard objects? Resistive touch screens have a soft plastic layer on the surface, because they operate via sensing pressure on the surface. Hence resistive touch screens are the most likely to get scratched. For maximum scratch resistance, use Projected Capacitive touch or Infra-Red touch, both of which have a glass front.

Vandal Resistance

Is the screen likely to be attacked by people such as vandals? Typical applications where this can happen are in a public kiosks, ATM machines, or touch screen systems in jails. The best protection against vandal attack is to use a touch screen with a 6mm anti-vandal glass front. This is available in Capacitive, SAW, Projected Capacitive, and Infra-Red touch technologies, but it must be specified when you order the LCD touch screen.

Water and Dust on the Screen

Water on an LCD touch screen
Is the screen likely to have water drops or a lot of dust collecting on it? Resistive touch screens offer excellent resistance to water and dust. Capacitive and Projected Capacitive touch screens can get false “touch” detections from water drops, whilst Infra-Red touch screens can be badly affected by dust and debris on the screen.

Weather Resistance

Will the screen be installed outdoors in the weather? Most Surface Acoustic Wave touch screens are not designed to be weather resistant and can deteriorate in outdoor environment. Also Resistive touch screens can be affected by UV light and the plastic layers can reduce the readability in sunlight. For outdoor use, the best touch screens are usually Infra-Red or Projected Capacitive.

Display Brightness and Contrast

Is the brightness and contrast of the LCD display important? Will the display be viewed in direct sunlight? Resistive touch screens often reduce the contrast of the display, because of the layers of conductive plastic over the screen. The other touch technologies use glass over the screen and hence provide better display brightness and contrast, especially when viewed in direct sunlight. 

So what’s the best touch technology for your LCD touch screen?

For most indoor industrial applications, Resistive touch is chosen for its resistance to dust and water, and the ability to use gloves. For outdoor or public applications, Projected Capacitive or Infra-Red are normally chosen, with 6mm vandal resistant glass if required. If your application does not fit into one of these categories then you will need to evaluate the above factors and choose the technology that suits your requirements best. If in doubt it’s always best to ask. Drop me a line, or use the blog comment section below, if you need help choosing.