Have you heard of resistive touch switches? While not as popular as capacitive or piezo touch switches, they are still used in many devices. Resistive touch switches use a similar method of operation as resistive touchscreens. They contain two layers, each of which features electrodes, that are separated by air. When you press a button, the top layer will push into the button so that the electrodes may contact. This contact will complete the circuit so that the resistive touch switch registers your command.

Pro: Inexpensive

Resistive touch switches are inexpensive. They feature a simpler design that other types of touch switches. Capacitive touch switches, for instance, have a complex design that projects an electrical charge across the button. Touching the button will draw some of this electrical charge to your finger, which the capacitive switch will detect as a command. There is no electrical charge with resistive touch switches. Rather, they feature a simple design consisting of two layers of electrodes.

Pro: Supports All Touches

Resistive touch switches also support all types of touches. The same can’t be said for capacitive touch switches. Capacitive touch switches only support touches performed with a conductive object. You can use a bare finger to operate them. The human body has conductive properties. As long as you aren’t wearing gloves, you can control a capacitive touch switch with a finger. Resistive touch switches, though, support all types of touches. You can control them with a bare finger, a gloved finger, a stylus or any other object, regardless of whether the object is electrically conductive or resistive.

Con: Requires More Force

On the other hand, resistive touch switches require more force than other types of touch switches. Without adequate force, they won’t register your commands. Resistive touch switches require force because of their use of layers. They feature two layers that are separated by air. The layers, of course, features electrodes on them. If you don’t press the button with enough force, the resistive touch switch’s layers won’t make contact with each other. In turn, the resistive touch switch won’t register your command.

Con: Shorter Lifespan

It’s also worth noting that resistive touch switches tend to have a shorter lifespan. This is due to the fact that they contain moving parts. Resistive is still a type of touch switch technology, but unlike other touch switch technologies, it contains moving parts. The two electrode-patterned layers, for instance, will move in response to your commands. As these layers constantly move, they may wear down.


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