specialistA touchscreen is essentially a virtual keyboard. In a conventional computer keyboard, each key has a unique electric circuit that is completed when the key is pressed. The same principle is applied in rackmount touchscreen LCD monitors, using resistive or capacitive sensors, rather than through the mechanical circuit completion in conventional keyboards.


Resistive touchscreens are made of three layers: the polyester plastic, the insulating membrane, and the conducting glass. When you touch the polyester plastic, you also push the conducting glass down, and complete an electric circuit, similar to how an ordinary keyboard works. A chip embedded in the screen detects electrical field changes and calculates the coordinates of the spot you touched. A driver translates the coordinates into something readable by the operating system, which delivers the appropriate response. The resistive rackmount LCD touchscreen monitor is the most popular type. This is partly due to its higher sensitivity to stimuli, i.e. you can touch it with anything other than human fingers, like pens, rubber balls, etc. This is also the least expensive touchscreen technology. However, extra care must be taken for this type, as the polyester plastic layer is quite easy to damage.


Like the resistive touchscreen, the capacitive touchscreen is made of inner and outer layers that sandwich an insulator or capacitor. It also works similarly: your touch triggers changes in the electrical field, a computer calculates the coordinates of these changes, and the operating system performs the desired action according to these coordinates. Unlike the resistive touchscreen, the outer layer is made of glass instead of polyester plastic. ComputerCapacitive touchscreens work for only specific stimuli, such as your finger. These displays transmit about 90 percent of the monitor’s light, as opposed to 75 percent for the resistive system. This means that the images on a capacitive touchscreen monitor are, likewise, clearer. Other touchscreen technologies used are infrared, surface acoustic wave, near field imaging, and light pens; although resistive and capacitive systems may be the most practical ones for LCD screens. The primary benefit of LCD touchscreen technology, whether it’s resistive or capacitive, is its user-friendliness. Touchscreens typically display only the tasks you need to perform, so it’s easier to follow the flow of a process. With the help of companies like Crystal Image Technologies, access to information displayed by these monitors has never been easier.