Capacitive touchscreen, or resistive touchscreen? That’s a question retailers and restaurant operators must ask themselves when evaluating point of sale technology. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each option will make the decision easier, so let’s take a look at both.
Capacitive Touchscreen Advantages
A capacitive touchscreen:
- Offers easy, flexible operation. A capacitive touchscreen comprises two layers of glass, coated with a conductor agent, like iridium tin oxide. The conductor agent reacts to the touch of a human finger or special-tipped stylus on the screen. This causes a change in the local electrostatic field and indicates to the system exactly which area, number, or icon on the screen has been touched. A capacitive touchscreen also supports multi-touch—e.g., simultaneous pressing on an icon and enlargement of an image on the screen.
- Touts a higher degree of contrast. A capacitive touchscreen can be seen more easily.
- Facilitates more accurate input. Because there is little or no leeway for the capacitive touchscreen system to interpret input inaccurately, the potential for errors—whether in transaction or in customer order detail—is minimized
- Features enhanced durability. A capacitive touchscreen can, in certain ways, be more durable than its resistive counterpart. Why? Frequently used areas on a capacitive touchscreen do not typically start to break down and become unresponsive over time and with heavy use. Additionally, a capacitive touchscreen that is scratched, pierced, or cracked will continue to operate. This can occur if employees try to operate the device with something other than their finger or stylus, if they tap the glass too hard, or if a mobile device is dropped. This is not true of a resistive touchscreen, which in most cases stops working whenever the surface is damaged.
Because a capacitive touchscreen keeps working even if it suffers damage, there’s no need to interrupt store or restaurant operations in order to install a replacement. This minimizes customer frustration and lost sales.
- Is future-proof. A capacitive touchscreen is increasingly becoming a top choice among point of sale equipment manufacturers. Consequently, choosing point of sale equipment with capacitive touchscreens will allow a smooth transition to future enhancements and will ensure compatibility with new equipment.
Resistive Touchscreen Advantages
A resistive touchscreen:
- Is most widely accepted. A resistive touchscreen is comprised of two flexible layers of material with a layer of air in between. It registers input (the precise location of the touch) when a small amount of pressure is exerted on the top layer, enough for it to make contact with the bottom layer. Because the two layers of material used in a resistive touchscreen are synthetic instead of glass, its surface is susceptible to scratching or wear than the surface of a capacitive touchscreen.
- Carries a lower price tag than its capacitive touchscreen counterpart. Chalk it up to the latter’s more complex technological structure.
- Reacts to multiple types of touch. A resistive touchscreen will register input from gloved or ungloved fingers because they do not require the touch of a special stylus or bare finger like capacitive touchscreens do. A resistive touchscreen can also register input from a fine point of contact because it offers more sensors per inch than a capacitive touchscreen.
- Is less sensitive to touch than a capacitive touchscreen. A super-high degree of sensitivity to touch can be a good feature for a touchscreen to have. However, this is not always an advantage in environments where “stray” stimuli such as liquid spills and spatters can cause the terminal to react unintentionally.
Capacitive and resistive touchscreens both have strong positive advantages. Really, their use depends on your business’ environment and the way in which you plan on using your touchscreen devices. Using the information we’ve provided, you’ll better understand these advantages and you will be certain to make the right choice for your unique business.