How Touch Screen Works And Types

How touch screen works

Have we wondered why smartphones dominates as a technology and are very prolific to our lives or how touch screen works?

Besides, the value of smartphones can’t be compared to the way people careless their car keys, house keys and some other belongings though most of these can be more expensive.

Touch screen technology has been in existence for many years and can be seen in phones, laptops, stores, cars etc…

Starting from the old Nokia, Samsung, and some other button enabled phones which had a small screens and some were made of plastic buttons. Gone are the days when these phones was a hit in the market.

The modern smartphones advanced the touch screen technology and has won the competition over old button phones. Therefore bringing in different functions of technology into a single device.


  • Capacitive Touch Screen
  • OLED Display
  • Toughened Glass
  • Infrared Touch Screen
  • Surface Acoustical Wave
  • Resistive Touch Screens

There are several technologies in the touch screen display, a lot of changes and difference can be easily noticed when using the modern smartphone for the first time.

Using an intelligent touchscreen device which tend to be smoother to scroll through and user friendly.

Touch screen technology can be found In stores, ATMs, Banks, elevators, airplanes, supermarkets, smartphones.

Some smartphone and computer are really responsive to many different touch, as a result, sending precise electrical signal from a specific locations on the screen.

I am going to explain some types of touch screen displays listed above but not all. Touch screen works with…

Resistive touchscreen:

The most used type of touch screen technology is the resistive touch screen. In this technology, we have to physically push and bend the screen to make it work. Bending doesn’t mean to fold your screen.

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Layers of the touch screen are two and they are se thin and Resistive touch screens are made of two separate thin layers, the top layer (the one we touch) which is made from flexible transparent material such as polyethylene.

This polyethylene is a plastic used to make soda bottles and the bottom layer is made to something more rigid but it is glass.

resistive touch screen

To make the screen work, both of these layers are thinly coated with some sort of metal compound that conduct electricity. Metals like indium tin oxide which is commonly used because it is transparent and copper.

This layers are also separated by tiny insulating dark scar spacers which do not conduct electricity. They keep the screens apart to make sure there aren’t any false touch signals.

After the screen is on, a small voltage is applied across the screen both in the horizontal and vertical direction. As soon as you push down on the flexible screen with anything like your finger or stylus, it connect the two layers together.

This changes the voltage, and a small processor connected to the screen can calculate exactly where you pressed in x and y coordinates. This resistive touch screens are pretty affordable and durable.

They are used mostly in factories, restaurants, hospitals and for things like credit card readers, grocery stores. Besides, it can be a little frustrating if you didn’t push hard enough. They normally can’t understand multiple touches at the same time, though it has the ability to detect a two fingers zoom function and more complex task like three fingers screenshot action.

Capacitive Touch Screens:

These days most smartphones rely on capacitive touch screen, your finger becomes a key part of the electronic device.

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Image result for capacitive touch screen

There are different kinds of capacitive touch screen, and they can vary from device to device. The human body has a natural capacitance which means our bodies can conduct electric current and can store electric charge.

When your finger touches the screen, the charge in the screen is run at the point, distorting the electrostatic field. Electricity does not actually flow through your finger.

The electrostatic field feels the effects of your electric charge and redistributes itself accordingly, even really small changes are detected by the processor.

Capacitive touch screens are super accurate that it can process multiple touches at a time but they won’t work if you have gloves on because the cloth isn’t conductive.

Unless your glove have those special finger tips with needle fibers inside, then it will function. Thus something like sweat can affect how electricity is conducted across the screen because it is full of salts.

It’s all about the materials that can affect the electrostatic field generated inside your screen. However, whenever you’re texting on a smartphone or scrolling through your tablet just remember you are part of the electronics that made it work.


This is mostly used in outdoor applications which doesn’t rely on a conductor like bare hands to activate the touchscreen. It uses an array of x and y axis.

This infrared touchscreens do not require any patterning on the glass. It is very sensitive to dirt and dust that can disrupt the beams.

OLED display

This stands for, Organic Light Emitting Diode. It is an advanced display technology made from thin films of light emitting organic materials.

This technology enhances transparency in our viewing on touchscreen devices like TV, phones and others. Most of our phones are made with LCD (liquid crystal display) but OLED have more advances over it.

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This technology helps to enhance the viewing experience of any touchscreen device. It shows real colors and brightness of an object which is being displayed on a TV, smartphone and also stores.

Many companies hence, have implemented this technology in making of smartphones, watches, games, AR/VR games and TVs.

However, OLED technology can be used in the making of foldable devices like phones and TVs.

Toughened glass

Now, one of the features of a good working touch screen is a toughened glass. Old phones have a plastic glass which can easily be folded.

On the top of the screen is a chemically toughened glass, that helps in preventing the phone screen from breaking easily. This glass is five times different in strength than other glasses we see.

It is made of a heated potassium nitrate of about 400°C. This cause the sodium atoms to migrate out and much larger potassium atoms to come in.

Due to the large size of the potassium atoms, they exert more pressure on the surface of the glass because they are compressed inside the glass.

You may also like to read the top 10 trending technologies


  1. sunnyeke

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