Comparing Infrared vs. Capacitive Smart Boards: What’s Best for You?

When it comes to interactive technology, touch screens have revolutionized the way we interact with displays. In the realm of smart boards and other interactive displays, two main types of touch screen technologies dominate the market: Infrared (IR) and projected capacitive (PCAP).

Infrared touch screens operate by detecting disruptions to the infrared light beams emitted from the bezels of the display. They can detect touch from bare fingers, gloved fingers, stylus pens, or any solid object that disrupts the light beams. On the other hand, projected capacitive touch screens work by creating a capacitive field underneath the display glass. When a conductive object, such as a finger or an active stylus, comes into contact with the glass, disturbances in the capacitive field are registered as touch points.

Design-wise, infrared touch screens may have visible frames to broadcast the infrared light, while projected capacitive touch screens do not require frames. In terms of input capabilities, infrared touch screens typically support up to 40-point input, whereas projected capacitive touch screens usually support two-point input.

One notable difference lies in their activation requirements. Infrared touch screens can be activated by almost anything, including cloudy objects, while projected capacitive touch screens demand bare fingers, thin medical hand-wear gloves, or cotton gloves for touch detection.

When it comes to cost-effectiveness, the electrode film used in projected capacitive touch screens can be expensive, especially for larger screens. On the other hand, infrared touch screens are more cost-effective for large interactive displays.

In practical applications, infrared touch screens are commonly found in large displays, such as interactive kiosks, while projected capacitive touch screens are often employed in tablets and smartphones.

Overall, infrared touch screens provide higher graphic clarity and light transmission, while projected capacitive touch screens offer better appearance, touch feel, sensitivity, and accuracy.

Benefits of Infrared Touch Screens

When it comes to interactive displays, infrared touch screens offer a wide range of benefits and advantages. Let’s explore why these touch screens are a popular choice for various industries and applications.

  1. High Graphic Clarity and Light Transmission: Infrared touch screens provide excellent graphic clarity and superior light transmission, making them perfect for large touch screen displays. The vibrant visuals and enhanced brightness ensure an immersive and engaging user experience.
  2. Sensitivity, Durability, and Scratch Resistance: Infrared touch screens are highly sensitive and responsive, allowing for precise touch inputs. They are also built to withstand heavy use, making them durable and resistant to scratches. This ensures a long-lasting and reliable touch solution that can withstand the demands of various environments.
  3. Versatility in Activation: One of the key advantages of infrared touch screens is their versatility in activation. They can be operated by various objects, ranging from bare fingers and gloved fingers to stylus pens and any solid object that disrupts the infrared light beams. This versatility allows for convenient and effortless interaction with the touch screen.
  4. Multi-touch Capabilities: Infrared touch screens support multi-touch capabilities, enabling simultaneous input from multiple touch points. This feature makes them highly suitable for collaborative work and group activities, facilitating seamless interaction and enhancing productivity.
  5. Cost-effective Solution for Large Interactive Displays: Infrared touch screens are a cost-effective solution for large interactive displays, such as interactive kiosks. Compared to other touch screen technologies, infrared touch screens offer a more affordable option, making them a popular choice for industries that require large-scale touch screens, including retail, education, and entertainment.

With their high graphic clarity, durability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness, infrared touch screens are an excellent choice for businesses and organizations looking to deploy interactive displays that provide an engaging and user-friendly experience.

Advantages of Projected Capacitive Touch Screens

Projected capacitive touch screens offer numerous advantages in terms of design, functionality, and user experience. Unlike infrared touch screens, they provide a sleek and refined appearance as they do not require visible frames. This means that the entire display surface can be utilized for interactivity, resulting in a more immersive and visually appealing touch solution.

One of the key advantages of projected capacitive touch screens is their highly intuitive and accurate touch experience, comparable to that of smartphones and tablets. The touch response is smooth and precise, allowing users to navigate and interact with the display effortlessly. This makes projected capacitive touch screens ideal for applications that require precise touch input, such as drawing or writing on a digital surface.

Another significant advantage is the ability of projected capacitive touch screens to distinguish between conductive and non-conductive objects. Unlike infrared touch screens, they do not register non-conductive objects, such as sleeves or bracelets, as touch points. This enhances accuracy and prevents unintended touch inputs, ensuring a seamless user experience.

Furthermore, the glass overlay on projected capacitive touch screens serves as a protective barrier, safeguarding the interactivity of the display from dust, moisture, and excessive light. This not only ensures the longevity of the touch screen but also maintains a clear and vibrant visual experience for users.

Projected capacitive touch screens also support multi-touch gestures and various touch modes, allowing users to perform actions such as pinch-to-zoom, swipe, and rotate. This enhances the overall user-friendliness and versatility of the touch screen, making it suitable for a wide range of applications and industries.

In conclusion, projected capacitive touch screens offer a refined design, intuitive touch experience, accurate touch detection, and enhanced durability. These advantages make them a popular choice for smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices, as well as industries that require precise and accurate touch input, such as healthcare, gaming, and navigation systems.