A touch screen or virtual touch screen display is an integration of both an output and input device into a single unit. The touch screen is generally layered over an existing digital display of some sort. The screen is most often an LCD or LED screen while the device is most frequently a cell phone, tablet computer, or smartphone. Touchscreens can also be found in watches and other accessories.
Touchscreens can be implemented in many different ways. If the input device is a finger, then the display will respond to the fingerprint of the user. If the input device is a pen or stylus, then the screen will mark the surface of the pen or stylus without actually touching the finger. When the finger is a stylus, then the screen can recognize the movement of the finger and interpret it as a touch.
Traditional touch screens use resistive, capacitive, infrared, or acoustic wave technologies to detect finger pressure. Modern touch screens combine these technologies into one. Today’s touch screens take a finger’s position and convert it to a point of contact with the display. This allows for more natural interaction with the device.
Capacitive touch screens use a finger’s natural touch with an opposite charge to register finger touch. Infrared touch screens use heat energy to interact with a finger. Acoustic wave technology is used for acoustic touch screens where the user’s voice is reflected on the display using sound waves. Most modern touch screens use a combination of these technologies to interact with a user’s finger.
Modern touch screens generally come equipped with built in anti-glare properties. They take the glare from sunlight well enough so that users can still see what they are doing, but not so much that the displayed information is distorted by sunlight. There are some touch screens that automatically adjust their viewing angle to allow most outdoor light to be displayed. A touch screen with this capability is called a ‘ractive’ touch screen.
The typical touch screen contains two parts: a display and a finger. A finger can be used to operate the display if necessary or a finger and physical contact with the display can also cause the machine to react. Modern touch screens use both physical touch and voice interaction that make them very user friendly.
Modern touch screens replace the scroll wheel with a pointing device much like a computer mouse. To use a touch screen, you first point at the display and then point at something on the input device like a keyboard, or touch the screen itself to trigger the computer mouse. The computer mouse will automatically move along the touch screen as if it was a physical input device. This is one of the biggest advantages of touch screens over other input devices. You can point and click just as easily as you can punch keys on a keyboard.
The best part about touch screens is that many of them can detect your fingerprint. Your finger prints matter a lot when it comes to recognising your fingerprints as yours. So, with your finger on the input device, rather than your hand moving the mouse accidentally, your finger really does operate the input device. This is why so many people prefer to use touch screens rather than their physical keyboard especially when the antimicrobial option is available. You simply wipe your finger across the screen, and the software identifies all your finger’s movements and states where the touch point is, allowing the computer to recognise and act upon those movements accordingly.