How do touchscreens even work?

The magic inside of our phones.

Credits - Pexels |

ENGLAND, 2017. “There’s no doubt that the screen on the LG G3 is beautiful (…) The LG G3’s screen in everyday use is nothing short of excellent. It is bright enough to view in full daylight, has decent viewing angles and colors appear natural.” Judge Evan Kypreos, an English builder of PCs for more than a quarter of a century.

The tactical screens works like “magic”, they allow the user to manipulate a digital environment with the touch of a finger. Most touch-sensitive devices use one of two technologies: resistive touch screens, commonly used with pencils, or capacitive touch screens, operated with the fingertips.

Resistive touch screens contain two layers with an electrical current that runs through both of them. When you press the screen, the top layer hits the bottom layer, interfering with the current. The computer or device you use will locate the electrical change to find the point you are pressing on the screen. Generally these screens that need pressure, are found in the credit card readers or in your Nintendo 3DS.

Typically of phones and tablets, capacitive touch screens only use a single layer with an electrical charge. When you touch the screen with your finger, your body temporarily absorbs some of the electricity, similar to how your body transfers electricity when touching a metal surface. A touch screen uses so little electricity. This change in charge indicates the place where you touched the device. That's exactly the reason why you can't use your cellphone screen while using wool gloves.

Written by: Andres Filipe Pinzon Pulecio

Andres Filipe Pinzon is volunteering for Voyager Space Outreach to write Space/STEM oriented topics.

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