How an industrial touchscreen works
Industrial touchscreens typically use two different technologies to register input. A capacitive touchscreen reacts to the electrical conductivity of a finger or special stylus, while a resistive touchscreen reacts to pressure from a finger, stylus or gloved hand.
Resistive screens have been the standard in rugged technology in the past, as workers wearing gloves can interact with the screen more easily and resistive screens are less susceptible to inadvertent input from water, dust or debris. Resistive industrial touchscreens are also less expensive than capacitive monitors but they wear more easily – the flexible synthetic material used for the screens can be scratched or damaged more easily, rendering the touchscreen unusable.
Capacitive touchscreens offer a more sensitive and potentially more accurate input with multi-touch capabilities such as pinching and zooming. Capacitive touchscreens are more durable, as their glass surface is more resistant to damage and because the technology can continue to work even when the screen is cracked, pierced or scratched. Capacitive touchscreens are more expensive, however, and are more susceptible to accidental input from water and dust, and they typically cannot be used with a gloved hand.