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PCAP – Projected Capacitive Touch panel


Projected Capacitive touchscreens (or PCAP touch) are coated with a transparent conductive film (such as ITO), which when touched by an object, usually the skin on your fingertip, can sense the conductive properties of that object and record a touch event.

Capacitive touchscreens can detect multiple points of contacts and can also be operated while wearing certain types of gloves. They are more responsive than a resistive touchscreen when it comes to gestures such as swiping and pinching.

Advantages of PCAP

  • Work in extreme weather conditions if using appropriate touch IC controller
  • Resistant to liquids and dust etc
  • Responsive to the lightest of touches
  • Resistant to impact damage and scratches
  • Supports gesture/multi-touch functionality
  • Can work with gloved hands

Disadvantages of PCAP

  • Cost more than other types of touch technology
  • More sensitive to Electromagentic Interference (EMI)
  • Mechanical integration needs to be more considered when using PCAP

Differences between PCAP and resistive touch

Touch Technology Comparison

Resistive Touch Capacitive
(surface)
Projected Capacitive (PCAP) SAW Infra-red
Clarity Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Best
Works with any object Best
Any object
Poor
Finger or capacitive stylus
Good
Finger, capacitive stylus, surgical glove
Good
Finger, gloved hand, soft stylus
Very Good
Most objects
Sensitivity Good Very Good
Very Good Very Good Best
Accuracy Very Good Good Best Very Good Very Good
Scratch Resistant Poor Very Good Best Best Best
Sensitivity to humidity Best Best Best Very Good Very Good
Sensitivity to cleaning Very Good Very Good
Best Very Good Best
Sensitivity to contaminants Best Good Very Good Average Good
Sensitivity to EMI Best Average Average Very Good Best
Sensitivity to vibration Best Very Good Very Good Very Good Best

How a PCAP works

PCAP works with gloved hands