What Is a Touchscreen Digitizer and How Does It Work?

waterproof touchscreen monitor

Touchscreen devices consist of numerous different components that must work cohesively together in order to make it functional. The touch sensor, controller, and the software all play important roles. But there’s one component that’s often overlooked in the equation and that’s the touchscreen digitizer. This is the component that allows users to directly interact with what’s on the screen and issue commands.

What Is a Touchscreen Digitizer?

As you know, touchscreen devices consist of multiple layers each of which serve a different purpose and carry out various functions. The purpose of the touchscreen digitizer glass layer is essentially to translate or convert physical touch commands into digital signals that the device can understand and then carry out.

What Is the Difference between Touchscreen Digitizers and LCD Displays?

Commercial and industrial displays such as capacitive and resistive screens all feature touchscreen digitizers that are placed on top of and connected to the LCD layer using a flex cable. While the LCD layer is responsible for displaying sharp and crystal-clear images on the screen, the LCD touchscreen digitizer reads, understands, and translates the commands given so that the device can perform the appropriate functions.

Are Touchscreen Digitizers Necessary for Every Device?

Touchscreen digitizers are fairly common components of modern LCD displays, but not all of them are equipped with one. The sole purpose of an LCD display touchscreen digitizer is to convert touch commands on the top layer into digital data that the device can understand and perform. Once the touch commands are converted into digital data, the device can then perform the required function and change the images displayed on the screen accordingly. 

Can the Device Still be Used if the Touchscreen Digitizer is Damaged?

Touchscreen digitizers are made of a single glass layer, which means they can be susceptible to damage if the device is dropped or comes into contact with a brute force. Although the device can still marginally function depending on the extent of the damage to the touchscreen digitizer glass, its functionality and ability to comprehend touch commands may be limited. If the glass is completely shattered, then the device won’t be able to interpret touch commands at all.

When Do You Need to Replace Your LCD Screen or Touchscreen Digitizer?

The LCD and touchscreen digitizer layers of a device display serve completely different functions, but they work in tandem to maximize user experience and device performance. Since both of these components are made of thin glass layers, they’re not impervious to damages such as cracks or scratches as a result of being dropped or coming into contact with external physical stressors.

Eventually, the time may come when you need to replace either the LCD or touchscreen digitizer glass layer of your smartphone or laptop.

Here are a few common types of damage that your screen could endure over time.

Shattered touchscreen digitizer

If it’s only the touchscreen digitizer that’s broken, you’ll still be able to make out what’s being displayed on the screen by the LCD component for the most part. The only difference is that parts of the screen or the entire screen might be unresponsive to your touch commands as a result of the damages. Moreover, blobs or splotchy images may appear in certain parts of the screen.

Non-responsive touchscreen digitizer

This indicates that there’s a disconnection between the touchscreen digitizer and the LCD display, which is preventing the device from performing the desired functions issued by touch commands.

Pixelated LCD screen

The LCD screen is responsible for the visual component of your device. Pixelation in the form of multicoloured splotches or dots throughout the screen indicates that the LCD component has sustained a certain level of damage. It can be caused by wear and tear over time or if your device sustains physical damage.

Damaged or black screen

A black screen indicates that the LCD layer of the device is damaged. The device itself will most likely still turn on and function like normal, but you won’t be able to see what it’s doing on the screen itself. Typically, this just means that the LCD layer needs to be repaired or replaced. Depending on the extent of the damage, it might be more practical and cost-effective to simply purchase a new device altogether unless you’re still within the warranty period.

Contact Nauticomp Inc. to Learn about Touchscreen LCD Displays and Monitors

Nauticomp Inc. is one of the leading digital device manufacturers and distributors in North America and the UK. We deliver high-quality state-of-the-art commercial and industrial displays that can be custom-tailored according to the specific needs of our customers. Contact us today to learn more about our products or to place an order.