Touchscreens are still relatively new, but the progress that has been made in only a few decades is remarkable, with the capacitive touch panel quickly becoming part of seemingly every piece of technology. Instead of just using the technology, it can be helpful to actually understand it, and more importantly, understand how it is used to improve office accessibility and effectiveness.
Earlier Examples of Touch Screen Technology
To understand the capacitive screens, it can help to look at other popular types of similar technology. The most common alternative is resistive film. That’s because it’s cheaper and the screen features better protection against the elements and damages. Common examples include the touch screens on older smartphones, handheld games, and mounted GPS systems, like Garmin.
Resistive film becomes a touch system by placing two layers of film spaced apart slightly, between another protective layer of film and glass beneath that projects the images. When a finger, stylus, or something else with enough pressure presses down, the film pinpoints the touch by the increase in electrical charge from pressing the two films together, and the software reacts as programmed.
The downside of this type of technology is that it can be less responsive to presses, and it goes without saying that the screens do not hold up to the current smartphone screens in terms of brightness and clarity.
Importance of Capacitive Touch Capabilities
Presently, capacitive touch panel technology has become the most accurate while also being widely available and affordable. These panels utilize a protective screen instead of film, which is what allows for an improved viewing experience. There are a few different types of this technology, but they all have the same basic properties. Between the glass and the film layer is a film that is electrically charged.
When a finger touches the screen (because humans are electrically charged as well) the software is able to identify where the finger(s) are touching. This means that there is much less pressure necessary compared to resistive film. The one issue is that the need of an electrical charge prevents it from working with a basic stylus or a hand in a glove. Thankfully, companies are continuing to make gloves and styluses that can actually interact with these devices.
Applications for Office Settings
This technology is becoming more commonly seen in offices because of its wide availability and cost effectiveness. It also makes different office tasks, especially presentations, more effective. By making screens and boards interactive, it allows for everyone to be more engaged, as they can all take part in a brainstorming activity through personal devices or by writing directly on the interactive board. And with this new technology available, these screens will look just as good for detailed photos and videos, without sacrificing any of the functionality.
A capacitive touch panel helps to make screens of all kinds more easily accessible by everyone in the office and in any other setting. It makes anything easy to navigate because the user is able to physically interact with a presentation, website, etc. instead of trying to use a secondary piece of hardware to interact with it, which comes with its own frustrations. And with the software still relatively in its infancy, there will certainly be more progress made in the years to come.