Resistive and capacitive technology accounts for the vast majority of touchscreen devices on the market. Resistive touchscreens identify touch physically, as two layers are pressed together when the operator touches the interface. Capacitive touchscreens, on the other hand, identify touch electrically, as the operator produces a small but noticeable electrical charge when touching the interface. There are pros and cons associated with each. Capacitive touchscreens, for instance, are more accurate, while resistive touchscreens can be used with a bare finger, gloved finger or stylus.
But there’s a new type of touchscreen technology that’s slowly gaining momentum: acoustic pulse recognition. Basically, this technology operates on the principle that a human operator’s touch creates a disturbance in the sound wave produced by the device. Acoustic pulse recognition devices produce a light sound wave that runs across the surface of the interface. When the operator touches the interface, it disturbs the normal flow of sound; thus, the device is able to calculate exactly where the operator touched. Like dispersive signal technology, however, a motionless finger will not be detected by the device after the first touch.
There are several notable benefits associated with acoustic pulse recognition technology, one of which is durability and longevity. All touchscreen devices, or electronics for that matter, are subject to wear and tear. But acoustic pulse recognition devices are particularly durable thanks to their unique construction and design. The method for identifying the operator’s touch is designed on the outside of the device instead of the inside, allowing it to withstand the normal wear and tear that would otherwise degrade a touchscreen device. This is why acoustic pulse recognition devices are used used in hospitals and other medical settings.
Acoustic pulse recognition devices also work with or without a stylus. One of the drawbacks associated with capacitive touchscreens is their inability to work with a stylus or gloved finger. Because styluses and gloves restrict the flow of electricity from the operator to the device, the device cannot register the operator’s touch. Acoustic pulse recognition devices, however, work with bare fingers, a gloved finger or a stylus.
Furthermore, acoustic pulse recognition devices will work even with the presence of scratches on the screen. While they still contain a proactive oleophobic coating, you can rest assured knowing that the device will work if a scratch develops on the surface.