Skip to main content

How Do Touchscreens Work?


How do Touchscreens work? What enabled smartphones to dominate as a technology- to be so prolific and critical to our lives that I I would rather lose my car keys or wallet than my smartphone. The answer to this question isn’t a simple one liner, but rather it's a combination of answers, app development, wireless internet, carrier networks, Steve Jobs’ brilliant marketing, tho I would argue the most important contributor was the seamless combination of different functions and technologies into a single package. In this episode we're going to explore the most distinctive feature of the smartphone’s merging of technologies- the touchscreen display.

There are three technologies within the touchscreen display These technologies are combined all on top of every other. When you felt and used a smartphone for the first time, you just knew that you were holding something revolutionary – something different from all previous phones. These… were not new technologies. Many devices used a tactile interface, and color displays had already been a typical for many phones. Even toughened glass had been discovered in the 1800 s. 

But the innovative element was combining them seamlessly. One layer on top of another like magic. Ok, so let’s get into the layers of a touchscreen display. On the top, we have the protective glass. A lot of us have had a screen shatter but think about how many times you’ve dropped it and it hasn’t. That’s because a smartphone’s glass is over 5x stronger than normal glass. And, before the first iPhone showed up in 2007 the standard for cellphone screens was plastic and although plastic doesn’t shatter, it is very easily scratched. If the screen were covered in plastic, it wouldn’t last a week sitting in your pocket next to your keys before having dozens of scratches all over it. 


Each sub pixel's candlepower is controlled by a little thin film transistor that acts as a dimmer switch. There are many layered structures in each sub pixel, however explaining the function of each layer will have to be saved for a future episode. Photons are produced in the sub pixel by electrons that are driven from the negative to the positive terminal. When they pass through this middle layer here, called the missive layer,photons are emitted through a release of energy. The compounds used to make up the missive layer determines the color of the light emitted, and the intensity of this light is dependent on how many electrons pass through. 

In fact the 2014 Nobel prize in Physics was awarded to 3 researchers for their discovery of efficient blue light emitting diodes! So, let’s summarize: on the bottom is an OLED display composed of a 10 million itty bitty little colored lights. On top of that is a transparent projected capacitive touchscreen that can sense one or multiple finger touches at a time. And on top of that is strengthened glass that protects your screen from scratches and most falls. Now you too are a touchscreen expert! If you have any questions, post them to the comments below. Subscribe, Like, and tell your friends or family about something you learned. This episode details the structure of a touchscreen display. 

Branches from this episode are: Multi touch design, electric fields, Capacitors OLEDs and their control, LCDs, Why are materials transparent? And interface aesthetics. Thanks again for watching and until next time, consider the conceptual simplicity yet structural complexity in the world around us.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Where is a Starfish's Butt?

I read a tweet and it really got me thinking about animals revolting. It's from Lawrence Ward who says, "The population "of Scotland is around 5.25 million and there are million cats in the world so if every cat decided to invade Scotland, each Scot would have tonight off around 114 cats and I don't think they could pull it off." (laughs) I don't think I could fight 114 cats and survive. Have you ever had to tangle with an angry cat that still had its claws? I have. And lemme tell you, gonna need a lot of the foamy liquid that you put on your cuts. Hydrogen peroxide. If cats revolt, much like the population of small wild animals inane area where there's a large domestic cat population, we'd get destroyed. Your cats a murderer. (whimsical music) Hello, and welcome to"Footnotes", the companion show to "Because Science" where I take all of your comments, questions, and corrections and then I bombard you with cats. Meow.(cat m

Marvel Shang Chi Teaser 2020 Breakdown - Avengers Iron Man Phase 4 Easter Eggs

You see there's somebody who wants to meet you you don't know him no but you took his name and now he wants it back no sorry i still don't get it it is western Sydney home to the newest edition of the marvel movie franchise the seven news chopper captured these scenes today as work resume building the set for the upcoming production shag chi and the legend of the ten rings it's understood that all cast and crew have now arrived from overseas and after completing their required quarantine shooting will begin in the coming days 18 weeks later than originally planned welcome back everyone it's charlie so we have a brand new marvel shag chi clip to break down there's a whole bunch of stuff going on with the movie because marvel's starting to film all their movies again. Thankfully things are getting going so we'll break it all down there's a bunch of Easter eggs if you're new to the channel be sure to subscribe to get all the videos we're d

Interesting Facts about Bodrum

Are you looking for the perfect place to spend your holidays? Or you are looking for some summer vacation spot? We are here to help you. We have a perfect guide for the Bodrum tour . It includes all details about the beautiful Bodrum, Turkey. Turkey is a very beautiful Transcontinental Country. It Is very famous for its Hospitality and beauty.  Let’s talk a little about Turkey first. The real name of turkey is the Republic of Turkey. It is a small country and its language is Turkish. Although there are 30 types of the language spoken in Turkey. Those languages are in the minority. Bodrum is a small city in Turkey, which is the favorite visiting place of all types of people. This is one of the favorite spots of American vacationers. They visit this place to spend their summer holidays on the beach sides. There are so many things to do in Bodrum. You can enjoy your time by having boat rides. They have so many long beach’s where you can spend your whole day by taking a sun