Call Us (480) 795-7199

How Do Touch Screens Work?


Touch screens have revolutionized the way people do everything. You can dine at a fancy restaurant and pay using your finger and a kiosk at your table. You can illustrate, edit and layout a new book you’re working on before sending it off for print, all with the assistance of this technology. You can play music, navigate to a destination, get a better look at what’s behind you while backing up, and control the temperature in your car with a touch screen display as well.

How do they work? How can a person control a device with a smooth surface with just the touch of a finger? Technology has come a long way since the beginning of touch screens and light pens, and now they’re easier than ever to use. Check it out!

Resistive and Capacitive Touch Screens

Resistive and capacitive touch screens are the two most popular types of touch screens, both working in different ways. The following shows you how they’re different.

  • Resistive – When you think of pushing buttons, you probably think of pressure. Resistive touch screens actually work the same way. With multiple layers of different materials, the top layer is pressed, which pushes back to the next layer which causes the connection. The head unit is then informed which area is being pressed. These screens are not too sensitive and can be activated by a gloved hand, stylus or other object.
  • Capacitive – Perhaps the most sought after screen is a capacitive touch screen. Electrodes sense your finger’s touch, distorting the electrostatic field of the digitizer. The controller then reads that distortion and activates the feature you’re trying to use. These screens are highly sensitive, yet they cannot be activated by anything other than a finger. A capacitive screen can also implement pinching, swiping and zooming motions with multiple touch points.

Which Touchscreens Are Used in Cars?

Both resistive and capacitive screens have been used in cars, and with how they’re different, they each pose benefits that the other doesn’t have. For example, it may be simpler and safer to control your air conditioning with a capacitive screen because of the finger sensitivity it allows. That sensitivity could result in you turning on the heat instead as you focus on the road. A resistive unit may be more precise to the button you’re trying to push, but that precision would require a firm push, which could distract you while driving.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both, though they each have many more benefits than drawbacks. If you take a look at cost, resistive screens are more affordable. If you take a look at durability, capacitive comes out on top. Deciding which screen would be more beneficial to you would include determining how much use it will get.

Are Automotive Touch Screens Repairable?

If you own a car with a touch screen that gets used quite often, you may wonder if they’re repairable. The good news is they are in many cases. If the screen quits responding to your touch, or if it is physically damaged, lined or blank, it can generally be repaired. If it is damaged beyond repair, you could have it replaced all together. A quick inspection by a professional at Auto Technology Repair can typically determine the course of action you should take.

Getting in Touch With the Professionals

For answers to your questions regarding touch screens and digitizers in your vehicle, contact the professionals at Auto Technology Repair. With an in-depth knowledge of how these systems work, they can give you advice about a car purchase, digitizer repair, or system replacement. Call Auto Technology Repair today at 480-795-7199 or fill in the online form and someone will be in touch with you shortly.

Need Your Screen Repaired?

It takes someone who understands the technology in your car to make the necessary repairs.

If you have any questions about the digital screen in your car, contact us below!