Different Types of Touchscreen Monitors and Displays

waterproof touchscreen monitor

Touchscreen monitors and displays have become such an integral part of our daily lives that even though we would once marvel at the technology behind them, they’ve now become commonplace.


Laptops, smartphones, self-checkout kiosks, tablets, ATMs, etc. all have touchscreen technology built into them. Some of these touch panels are more ruggedly designed than others to withstand all kinds of indoor and outdoor use. Yet, they each offer unique performance value depending on the application.


How do you know which touch monitor types are best suited for your needs? Start by learning about all of the different commercial and industrial computer monitors in this article.


What Are Rugged Touchscreen Panels and Monitors?


Touchscreen displays consist of several internal mechanisms that make it possible to control and perform actions on the screen with a simple touch of the screen. Although they’re all unique in their own right, the rugged touchscreen displays mentioned in this article all share three common components that activate touchpoints all along the surface of their screens:


  • Internal touchpoint sensors
  • Responsive control mechanisms
  • Device drivers


Types of Touchscreen Monitors 


Resistive Touchscreens


As one of the most commonly used touch monitor types, resistive touchscreens are often built into smartphones, automotive navigation devices, various medical equipment, self-checkout kiosks, in-flight entertainment devices, and so much more. Resistive touchscreens consist of two sheets of flexible transparent material that are coated with a resistive film with air gaps in between that recognize and respond to various touchpoints on the screen. 


Infrared Touchscreens


Infrared touchscreen displays consist of light emitting diodes (LEDs) and sensors that are held together by a protective bezel. Sensors instantly identify touchpoints on the screen when animate or inanimate objects such as a finger or pen make contact. Touchpoint coordinates are then delivered to the internal controller, which performs the desired action. 


Optical Touchscreens


Optical industrial displays, commercial monitors, and panel mount displays incorporate the use of infrared touch technology. Infrared sensors just below the surface of the screen produce continuous light beams that scan the screen. When that light beam is interrupted at a certain touchpoint on the screen, the internal mechanisms recognize the touch location and immediately perform the action. Optical screens can respond to conductive and non-conductive objects. 


Capacitive Touchscreens


Capacitive touchscreens are prevalent in a lot of industrial applications and can only be operated with conductive objects, which means they require direct skin-to-screen contact. Using an electrostatic charge upon contact, data is immediately delivered from the touchpoint to the touch control panel to perform specific functions. 


SAW Touchscreens


Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) touchscreens consist of a reflector and two transducers on the surface of the glass. SAW touchscreens can be used with a stylus pen or gloves. Waves bounce off of the reflector and delivered to the transducers to provide actionable instructions when a touch is detected. 


Projected Capacitive Touchscreens


Projected capacitive touchscreens can be operated with conductive and non-conductive objects such as a bare finger or gloves. Multi-touch activation is also enabled thanks to the three dimensional electrostatic field inside the display that’s created by a combination of a sheet of glass that contains transparent electrode films and an IC chip, which is entrenched within it. 


Nauticomp Inc. is one of the leading designers and distributors of state-of-the-art rugged touchscreen stand alone and panel mount displays that can be used for a variety of commercial and industrial applications. Contact us today to learn more about our products or to place an order.