Resistive, capacitive or infrared? Know how to choose the right touchscreen.

Resistive, capacitive or infrared? Know how to choose the right touchscreen.
Touchscreens have become an essential component in many Digital Signage solutions, allowing users to interact directly with the displayed content. There are different types of touchscreens used in Digital Signage, each with its own features and advantages. In this article, we will explore three of the main types: resistive, capacitive and infrared.

Resistive, capacitive and infrared: pros and cons of touch technologies

Let’s see in detail how each technology works. This way you can choose more safely the type of touchscreen that actually meets your needs.

Resistive touchscreen

Resistive touchscreens are based on two superimposed thin layers, usually made of glass or flexible plastic. The first layer is transparent and conductive, while the second layer is insulating. When a user touches the touchscreen with their finger or stylus, the two layers touch, creating an electrical connection at that specific point. This change in electrical conduction is detected by the device and interpreted as an input.


  • Low cost.
  • Works with both fingers and stylus.
  • Can be used with gloves.


  • Limited precision.
  • Increased wear over time.
  • It does not support multi-touch.

Resistive touchscreens are suitable for Digital Signage where user interaction is limited and does not require great precision.

Capacitive touchscreen

The capacitive touchscreens have become the most common choice for interactive digital signage. This technology uses a conductive glass layer as a touch surface. When a finger touches the glass, the human body acts as a conductor, changing the electrical capacity in the contact zone. The device detects these capacity changes and interprets the position of the touch.


  • High sensitivity and precision.
  • Support for advanced multi-touch.
  • Durability thanks to wear resistance.


  • It doesn’t work with non-conductive gloves.

Capacitive touchscreens are ideal for Digital Signage where you need fast response and smooth interactions with your audience.

Infrared touchscreen

Touchscreens infrared use a grid of emitters and infrared sensors around the screen. When an object or finger interrupts the infrared rays, a contact map is created which is used to determine the position of the touch.


  • Very durable and suitable for harsh environments.
  • Works with any object, including a stylus or gloves.
  • Support for advanced multi-touch.


  • It may require occasional calibration.
  • Glass can become dirty or scratched, affecting performance.

Infrared touchscreens are often used in Digital Signage outdoors or in industrial environments where robustness is critical.

How to choose the right touchscreen

The first fundamental step is to understand how you intend to use the touchscreen. Here are some
questions to consider:

  • What is the main purpose of the installation? Should it inform, advertise or engage?
  • How much interactivity do you want to offer users?
  • In what environment will the touchscreen be placed? Is it intended for a point of sale or an industrial environment?

Secondly, you need to evaluate the different possibilities that each type of touchscreen offers you. The resistive is cheap but limited interaction, the capacitive is multi-touch, precise but not usable with gloves, the infrared is durable but requires maintenance.

The type of interactions that the user will have with monitors and totems is also a fundamental parameter in the choice of touch technology to use. Should you scroll, enlarge an image, fill in text fields?

Other equally important aspects to take into account (in addition to the budget) are the quality of the monitor and the ability to count on the support of the suppliers from which you purchased the touchscreen. A high monitor quality usually coincides with a high-performance touchscreen (whatever the technology you choose), good image quality and product durability. An after-sales support, however, gives you the peace of mind of a timely intervention in case of problems without relying on DIY solutions that could irreparably damage your monitors and multimedia totems.

Now you have all the information to go and choose your monitor or totem touchscreen on our Store.
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