What Is the Technology Behind a Touch Screen?

Have you ever wondered just how the touch screen on your cell phone, tablet, LED television, or any other device actually works? It is amazing to think that we can now issue commands to our devices with the touch of our hand and while this technology might seem new, it has actually been around since the 1960’s.

In fact, the technology behind the touch screen can actually traced right back to the 1940’s but it was only two decades later that it actually became feasible to use on a large scale.

ATMs have been using technology since 1965 which is when E.A. Johnson invented the first finger-driven touch screen that actually used the same capacitive touch mechanism that is still used in cell phones and other devices to this day.

Although there are other types of touch screen technology such as resistive touch or multi touch technology, capacitive touch technology is the one that is preferred for mass produced consumer products.

How is a Capacitive Touch Screen Made?

Today, a capacitive touch screen works through the use of an ITO touch film that is attached to the screen. This touch film is basically a semiconductor that has been printed out using semiconductor manufacturing methods such as roll to roll processing which uses a roll to roll evaporator system to create an electronic device on a flexible plastic.

A roll to roll evaporator system from industry leading manufacturers are able to mass produce ITO touch film that can be used on various devices such as smart phones, LCD or LED screens, tablets, and PC monitors.

Roll to roll technology is the preferred method over other technologies such as roll to plate and plate to plate technologies due to it offering a continuous process and higher throughput than the others. That ITO touch film is then programmed using software that enables us to give our devices instructions through the use of our fingers on the screen.

In fact, semiconductor manufacturing processes such as the roll to roll evaporator system are used for many other products too, such as solar panels, cameras, and printers.


So now you have a basic idea of where technology came from and the technology that is used to produce the semiconductor film that is used on touch screens today. Without machines that use a roll to roll evaporator system, we would not be able to enjoy the many touch screen devices that are available to us today.