What is the Difference between Capacitive and Infrared Touchscreens?

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Capacitive and Infrared Touchscreens

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It is well known that most touch devices today use resistive or capacitive touch sensing technology. While the technology shows no signs of declining anytime soon, the company is also exploring new solutions, including infrared. Golden Margins show you.

Infrared touch devices emit infrared light through the interface, which is picked up by various sensors, usually located at the edges or corners. Infrared light is invisible to the naked eye. When touching an infrared device, it interferes with the infrared light projected on the interface. Sensors pick up this interference and use this information to determine the exact point of contact.

IR touch screen devices support touch input just like any other touch screen device. However, the way they recognize touch commands is completely unique. Capacitive touch devices recognize touches by measuring changes in capacitance, while resistive touch devices recognize touches by pressing the top and bottom together. In contrast, infrared touch screens identify touches by looking for interference in a uniform beam of light.

Capacitive and infrared touchscreens

Among touch screen technologies, Capacitive and Infrared Touchscreens are the two most commonly used types. However, because of the differences between them, they are used in different applications.


For the PCAP touch screen, there is a fixed layer of transparent electrode film between the LCD panel and the cover glass. When a human finger touches the screen, the current through this film changes, and the signals at x and y positions are Transferred to the computer.

For infrared touch screens, the device detects the position of the finger by detecting an invisible block of light from an infrared LED embedded in the touch screen frame.


So you will often see bezels in IR touchscreens for transmitting IR light to the surface of the overlay, whereas PCAP touchscreens do not require bezels.


PCAP touchscreens support only two points of input, while IR touchscreens support up to 40 points of input.


IR touchscreens can be activated by anything opaque, whereas the PCAP type accepts only bare fingers, thin surgical gloves, or cotton gloves.


The electrode film for PCAP touch screens is expensive, especially for large screens, but for IR touch screens, when applied to large screens, only a few LEDs and corresponding detectors need to be added. Clearly, IR touch screen solutions are more cost-effective in large interactive displays, such as interactive digital boards for business meeting presentations.


Due to the cost and multi-touch capabilities, IR touch screens are mainly used on large screens, while PCAPs are used in smartphones and tablets.

Capacitive and Infrared Touchscreens

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IR typically provides the highest image clarity and light transmission compared to other types of touch screen technology. This makes it particularly useful when used to produce large touch screen displays. IR is a great alternative to traditional capacitive and resistive touchscreen technology. It is sensitive, robust, durable, and long-lasting.

Golden Margins is a professional manufacturer of industrial panel PCs. We customize tablets of all sizes and functions for you, including touch panels with IR technology as well. If you are interested, please send us a message.

Golden Margins

Golden Margins Medical Display Panel and medical tablets are designed with multiple interfaces to connect with different devices in medical scenarios to meet the needs of diagnosis, treatment, and imaging. Our new medical series of touch displays are available in 12 display sizes ranging from 7″ to 21.5″ to suit different medical equipment needs. They support embedded installation, wall mounting, cantilever mounting, and desktop mounting to meet a variety of application scenarios in medical environments. 

Golden Margins, as one of the four major application areas, has rich experience and many successful cases in medical applications. These newly launched medical series are independently developed and designed by Touch Think, keeping up with the latest market demand and meeting the high requirements of the medical field on the basis of ensuring stability and safety.

Golden Margins focuses on providing a display, touch screen, and touch integration solutions for industrial handheld data terminals, Internet of Things and other end customers, professional products, and your trusted choice. Contact us to get your unique solution.

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Entire Range of Touchscreen Products

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Golden Margins Capacitive Touch Panel PCs

We hope you found these touchscreen or panel PC fundamentals informative. Goldenmargins offers a broad selection of Industrial Touchscreen Monitors and Touch Panel PCs in various sizes and configurations, including medical touch screens, sunlight-readable touch screens, open-frame touch screens, and waterproof touch panels, as well as other unique touch screen or panel PC designs. You can learn more about our services HERE or by calling us at +86 755 23191996 or sales@goldenmargins.com

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