Posted by Deliverator on June 13th, 2007
Touchscreen techologies have been around since the early days of desktop computing and unlike virtually every other basic computer building block, have advanced little. There still remain 3 basic technologies widely deployed in consumer oriented devices:
* Resistive panels
* Capacitive panels
* Active Digitzers (Wacom style techology found in Tablet PCs, mainly)
All three of these technologies suck equally and differently. Resistive panels are relatively cheap and are perhaps the most commonly found in consumer devices. In my experience, they suffer the following issues:
-Heat variant calibration issues. Sun shining, recalibrate. Sun goes down, recalibrate. Stiff breeze, recalibrate.
-Low transmissivity to light, meaning your LCD appears dimmer and somewhat less sharp when a touch panel is placed over it.
-Panels are easily damaged, scratched. I have personally noticed convex dead zones develop on the borders of many such screens with no visible damage to the touchscreen apparent.
-Much clearer and brighter than resistive panels
-Only works with a finger press or another charge conducting instrument. Can’t just use any old stylus.
-Fragile two layer approach
-Have to use a special pen. Can’t just poke with your finger. Can’t use just any pen either, it has to be a $50 special model that they will stop making the day that you finally lose yours despite constant nagging attention to keeping it safe.
-Pen can enable gradations of touch (i.e. measure a light touch or firm touch and act accordingly), making it a popular technology for artists.
In this era of nano-this and nano-that, could someone please come up with a decent touchscreen, preferably one where the touch matrix is embedded in the screen itself and not added on as a dirty window pane on top? Oh, and anyone who uses this post to mention the iphone should get a life.