Touch Sensor [Explained] in detail with application

Touch Sensor working principle

These days, due to the advancement in technology, you will find touch screen panels everywhere right from your pocket size smartphone to large machine used in your factory. Once and for all, touch systems or panels are being used in end numbers of applications like mobile devices, P.O.S. systems, industrial control system, and public information displays etc. In this piece of writing, you will be introduced with the basics of touch panels, touch sensor including their working principle along with their applications in detail.

Touch Sensor Module

The basic component used in manufacturing a touch screen or panel is a touch sensor, a software drive along with a controller card. A touch sensor comes with mechanical switches powered by switch replacement technology that will help touch modules to be easily used in wide-ranging variety of applications. In addition to this, a touch sensor also comes with rotational or simple linear sliders, along with touch pads as well as rotatory wheels so that all these components together provide huge advantage in producing more intuitive touch based user interfaces. With the day by day improvement in touch sensor technology, it is gradually substituting the mechanical devices such as keyboard, mouse etc.

Touch Sensor Working

Working principle of a touch sensor

In present scenario, touch sensors are also known as tactile sensors. The basic working principle of a touch sensor is that it detects near proximity (also known as touch) without depending on physical contact. In simple words, you can understand that its working is same as a simple switch or circuit. When any physical medium came in contact with the touch surface, the internal circuit will be closed inside the sensor and current starts flowing. On the other hand, when this physical contact is broke or released, the circuit will opened and hence, there will be no flow of current. On the basis of several factors like touch response time, cost, material etc, touch sensors can be classified in two categories

  • Capacitive touch sensor
  • Resistive touch sensor.

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Touch Sensor Application

There are number of applications of the sensor and each day many more are introduced. The Application of sensors are classifies as per their type and are used according to their performance and efficiency.

Capacitive touch sensor

  • It is one of the most popular touch switch used in mostly high end devices.
  • It is widely used in portable devices such as MP3 player, video games, mobile phones, laptops, scientific instruments etc.
  • In addition to this, capacitive touch sensors are also used even in industrial applications as well as home appliances.

The main reason behind the popularity of capacitive touch is that it is more durable, robust and user friendly. Moreover, it is also cost-effective as compared to other available types of touch sensors.

Resistive touch sensor

Like capacitive touch switch, resistive touch sensors are also used in several applications. Though, it’s response time is longer than capacitive touch sensor but it’s control circuit is very simple. It doesn’t depends on the electrical characteristics of capacitance. Due to which, touch panels made by resistive touch  can be easily operate by even non-conducting substances such as glove wrapped finger, stylus etc. This touch sensor comes with two conductive layers and each layer is separated by small spacer dots. Resistive touch are also of three types- 4-wire, 5-wire and 8-wire.

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