ouch panel technologies are a key theme in current digital devices, including smartphones, slate devices like the iPad, the screens on the backs of digital cameras, the Nintendo DS, and Windows 7 devices. The term touch panel encompasses various technologies for sensing the touch of a finger or stylus. In this session, we'll look at basic touch panel sensing methods and introduce the characteristics and optimal applications of each.
A touch panel is a piece of equipment that lets users interact with a computer by touching the screen directly. Incorporating features into the monitor like sensors that detect touch actions makes it possible to issue instructions to a computer by having it sense the position of a finger or stylus. Essentially, it becomes a device fusing the two functions of display and input.
It's perhaps not something we think of often, but touch panels have integrated themselves into every aspect of our lives. People who enjoy using digital devices like smartphones interact with touch panels all the time in everyday life—but so do others, at devices like bank ATMs, ticket vending machines in railway stations, electronic kiosks inside convenience stores, digital photo printers at mass merchandisers, library information terminals, photocopiers, and car navigation systems.
A major factor driving the spread of touch panels is the benefits they offer in the way of intuitive operation. Since they can be used for input through direct contact with icons and buttons, they're easy to understand and easily used, even by people unaccustomed to using computers. Touch panels also contribute to miniaturization and simplification of devices by combining display and input into a single piece of equipment. Since touch panel buttons are software, not hardware, their interfaces are easily changed through software.
Primary applications of LCD monitors with touch panels. These devices are used in many widespread spheres.
While a touch panel requires a wide range of characteristics, including display visibility above all, along with precision in position sensing, rapid response to input, durability, and installation costs, their characteristics differ greatly depending on the methods used to sense touch input. Some typical touch-panel sensing methods are discussed below.
As of 2010, resistive film represented the most widely used sensing method in the touch panel market. Touch panels based on this method are called pressure-sensitive or analog-resistive film touch panels. In addition to standalone LCD monitors, this technology is used in a wide range of small to mid-sized devices, including smartphones, mobile phones, PDAs, car navigation systems, and the Nintendo DS.With this method, the position on screen contacted by a finger, stylus, or other object is detected using changes in pressure. The monitor features a simple internal structure: a glass screen and a film screen separated by a narrow gap, each with a transparent electrode film (electrode layer) attached. Pressing the surface of the screen presses the electrodes in the film and the glass to come into contact, resulting in the flow of electrical current. The point of contact is identified by detecting this change in voltage.