A touch screen or multi touch screen is an integration of an input device and output display device that can be used with touch input. The touch screen is usually fully layered on top of an ordinary information processing unit’s screen. While the unit might be an iPhone, laptop, tablet PC, or other mobile device, the display is most often an organic LED or LCD touch screen. These units are usually smaller than those that operate on a touch-screen monitor by a factor of ten to twenty times as much.
These types of units have an array of microelectromechanical (MEMS) or surface acoustic wave transducers mounted beneath the display and are sensitive to the infrared light waves that emanate from finger tips. The micro actuators send out impulses to the array of micro actuators that form a virtual projection of the finger tip contact point onto the display. A person touching one of these surfaces moves finger positions onto the virtual projection, thereby triggering the array of actuators and thereby sending electronic signals to the display.
In order to activate the signal sent from the finger to the display screen, the user must first place their finger on the touch-sensitive display screen. Then they must allow their finger to rest on the touch-sensitive display for a short period of time – a few seconds if necessary. This time of rest will allow the finger to decelerate from its linear momentum and deactivate the touch sensitive element – the device must “think” it is not touching the display screen to prevent false signals from being generated and deceleration of the finger causing oxygen consumption through tactile receptors. The amount of time the user allows the finger to rest on the touch-sensitive display screen will also determine how long the finger remains on the device thus causing a drop in battery life.
When the user has lifted their finger off the touch screen, the electrical charge associated with the finger’s deceleration is detected and the appropriate current is provided to the device – the current supplied is not very high however. This current provides the device with a low level of electrical charge, which allows the device to read the capacitance involved. The capacitance is proportional to the electrical charge and represents the thickness of the layer of tissue over the touch screen – in this case the layer of tissue is a conductive grid. This is the layer responsible for the electric current that flows through the device and into the battery.
As the finger departs from the touch screen, the current applied to the layer capacitance changes – it becomes a positive current which causes the corresponding conductive layer to become less permeable allowing a current of slightly higher current levels to flow into the device. This means that more current is available to the device to complete the required tasks. As the finger leaves the touch screen, the power requirement increases and the amount of time the finger is on the screen decreases. The amount of finger tracking required to locate the target element changes with the speed of the finger motion – the more time the finger is on the touch screen the greater the potential energy differences between the input device and the display device. These differences are translated into delays in the time it takes for an action to be taken – and these delays determine the results of actions taken.
Touch screen protectors are designed to reduce this potential energy difference and thus prevent unwanted effects caused by the differences between the input device and display device. They are typically made from materials such as polycarbonate or glass. Polycarbonate is commonly used because of its high resistance to damage, which makes it suitable for use in a product that will be subject to prolonged handling. Glass also provides a higher level of clarity with a high level of scratch resistance – although there are now many types of touch screens where the crystal structure of the glass is replaced by metal, a process known as dip-coating.
Many touch screens are also equipped with touch screen protectors. This protects the stylus that a user might have to carry when using a kiosk. The stylus can become damaged when it is accidentally dropped on a rough surface – even when the kiosk has a hard plastic surface – and often becomes embedded in the device. Touch screen protectors can prevent this stylus from becoming embedded in the device and damaging the device so that it requires replacement.
Touchscreens are a great addition to any input device. As technology improves, so do the types of devices that can be used with a touch screen. With touch screen protectors a business owner can ensure that their staff does not end up unnecessarily damaging their input device with improper handling. These protectors can come in various forms and are designed to fit most touchscreen devices.