How do touch screens work?

r1121289_13728340Touch screens are everywhere.  You swipe your finger across a screen and magic happens, but that magic is really technology.

I find a lot of interesting stories on ABC Science, including this one on how touch screens work.

Touch screens have totally changed the way we use mobile phones. But how does wiping your finger on a glass screen make things happen inside your phone?

By Bernie Hobbs

Don’t be fooled by the mild-mannered glass surface; you’re poking your finger fair smack into an electric field or two when you swipe your phone.

Touch screens on phones and tablets really have the X factor. Being able to text, phone or film something just by swiping your finger on glass almost makes up for all those other failed sci-fi promises of the 60s.

But considering how futuristic touch screens seem, they rely on a bit of physics that’s almost as old as Newton — capacitance — and the fact that your finger is three parts salty water.

If you stick your finger on a regular piece of glass, the most you can hope for is a smudge.

Read more here.

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