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Surface Acoustic Wave Touch Screens

Surface Acoustic Wave Touch Screens

surface-acoustic-wave-touchscreen-soundwave.jpgMany point-of-sale systems, e.g. cash registers, ordering screens, kiosks, etc. use Surface Acoustic Wave or SAW Touch Screens. This technology works by creating an inaudible wave of sound across the surface of a screen. When the flow of sound is interrupted by the touch of an item with enough mass to disrupt it, an X-Y value is interpreted, and in turn is communicated to the device.

Another way to think of this is to imagine a series of water jets arranged to spray a stream of water across the ground, some of them horizontally, some vertically. If the water in stream hose 4 and stream 7 are blocked, causing "resistance" in the flow of water, a coordinate of 7,4 could be interpreted, identifying the location of the interruption in the water flow.

Stylus Compatibility

Stylus Tips - SAW versus Resistive... For a stylus to work on a SAW screen, it must be able to absorb at least close to as much sound as a human finger. Typically this requires a stylus with a tip made of rubber, or some other soft material, in a size at least the size of a pencil eraser.


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