Touch screens are becoming increasingly common in everyday life. Cell phones, computers, and even cars depend on touch screen technology to function properly. Having a physical keyboard or mouse now seems outdated, and touch screens have become the more intuitive technology for consumers. Not to mention, touch screens save space and are easy to maintain, so it makes sense to see them become the dominant technology.
Before determining which type of touch screen monitor is right for your business, you must first think of the following factors:
– How will your customers interact with the technology?
– Will it be used in a harsher environment and be exposed to spills, as in the restaurant industry?
– Screen size: would a 10” or 17” be more fitting in your space?
– Footprint: Do you need a more compact all-in-one system for smaller areas to avoid both hardware and cable clutter?
There are various types of touch screens; this article will discuss the basics of two of the most popular types of monitors.
1. Resistive touch screens
A resistive touch screen display is covered with two flexible, metallic layers that are separated ever so slightly. When someone touches the screen, the two layers are pressed together and notify the computer. One of the best things about a resistive touch screen is the fact that almost any object can be used to touch the screen. Since the screen works when the layers are pressed together, anything with some sort of point (pen, tool, gloved finger, etc.) can work.
Another key thing about resistive screens is that they are very affordable. The materials used to make them are relatively inexpensive, making this technology very popular.
2. Capacitive touch screens
A capacitive touch screen is a pairing of an insulator and a conductor. Since the human body can also conduct electricity, touching the screen results in a change in the screen’s electric charge. The location of this change is then used to determine where the screen was touched. In order for the screen to properly recognize a touch, a bare finger or specific stylus must be used.
Capacitive screens are generally more expensive than resistive screens, but not by much. However, they also tend to have longer life spans than resistive touch screens.
One note: It is not recommended to use capacitive monitors in environments like bars, where employees might have wet hands while using the touch screen. In this case, it will “see” the touch, but the mouse will move somewhere other than where you are touching.
Now that you know more about each type of screen, let’s not forget to consider features for the associated hardware. These are important elements to look for that can help your business run more efficiently:
– Serial and USB touch interfaces
– Excellent cable management
– An external power supply hidden in the base
– MSR and rear customer display options
Resistive and capacitive touch screen monitors each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Price is definitely important when it comes to touch screens, but it should always take a back seat to usability. It’s important to determine who might be using your touch screens as well as where your touch screens will be displayed. Size is also an important factor. If the screen is too small, it will be overlooked; if the screen is too big, it might look gaudy.
Finding the right touch screen can not only fill a “utility” need, but can give your restaurant or retail establishment a modern look and feel. Once you consider these business needs, you should be able to identify the type of touch screen that works for you. If you are still not sure, it’s always smart to ask your hardware vendor for their recommendations.