An article by Scott Taves at MSNBC highlights current touchscreen technology used in cell phones. Although the article focuses primarily on popular touch phones, the technology described is the same as that used in some Tablet PCs, Internet Tablets, and MIDs. The article is a good, quick read if you’re curious about how touch technology works and want to learn more. In a nutshell:
- Resistive Touchscreens
- Are cheaper, have been used more often, and are dependable.
- Rely on pressure to activate programs, buttons.
- Usually have several layers with the outermost layer consisting of a flexible, durable plastic.
- Capacitive Touchscreens
- Are those used in the iPhone 3G/iPod Touch, BlackBerry Storm, and the G1.
- Do not rely on pressure.
- From a phone perspective, the screen is usually a solid, clear piece of glass.
- Haptic feedback
- The article quotes that Haptic feedback is, “where a physical sensation is used to enhance the touch experience, [and] is…featured in smartphones such as LG’s Dare and the Samsung Instinct. With haptic feedback, a slight vibration from the screen signals when a touch command registers.”
A study by ABI Research is also cited which states capacitive touchscreens will not be the “wave of the future for most mobile phones,” at least in Asia. Due to the demand for handwriting recognition, ABI Research doubts that the capacitive touchscreen will flourish. For more information on the iPhone/iPod Touch’s capacitive touchscreen and a stylus that works with it, check out this shortcut on the Pogo Stylus from Ten One Designs.
As a side note, keep an eye on the Ten One Design website as they are planning on releasing a new product at MacWorld in January. A new stylus that works with the redesigned MacBook’s trackpad, perhaps?