Cannot use smartphone wet handed? There is a reason for that. It’s no secret that water and electronic products do not like each other. You might have to pay thousands of rupees to patch the damage if you dropped your phone in a pool. But did you notice that a tiny drop of sweat or rain, have controlled your touch screen? Why does this happen? Touch screen technology is responsible for this magic.
Capacitive Technology is used in touchscreens. When a finger touches the screen a slight electrical charge shifts to the finger, and thus, circuit completes itself. This technique is used to indicate that our fingers are taking some action such as typing on the screen. But the problem is that water is also a conductor and it completes the electrical circuit. Hence your smartphone’s touch screen assume that it is your finger that is interacting with it. That is why smartphone unlock apps and starts typing or sometimes take pictures. The same thing happens when your smartphone unlocks itself in your pocket.
Sensitive touch screen affects the action of water, and even a drop will result in unintentional touch feedbacks. It will not recognize your finger and water drops at the same time. That’s a big problem, but it does not affect the overall capacity of the touch screen. This issue leads to a new solution which is a technology called self-capacitance.
Instead of measuring the charge across pairs of electrodes, the touchscreen measures the increase in charge between a single electrode on the screen and the ground you’re standing on. Because water droplets aren’t grounded, the phone’s firmware is better able to neglect them.
However, this method alone won’t work for many smartphones because it can’t handle multitouch gestures such as pinches and zooms. The signal communicates to rows or columns of the electrode grid, as opposed to specific spots. With multi-touch, a phone might record ghost points in addition to real ones.
What’s the solution?
Merge the two methods in a single touchscreen. If the machine checks for both signals, it can pick up multitouch gestures while checking for sweat, rain, and other moisture. The only distinction is the firmware, which has to be intelligent enough to merge the measurements.
Some smartphones already come implemented with the combo, but that’s rarely advertised. It’s tough for the marketing team to make “mutual and self-capacitance” sound sexy in an ad :-p
This technology is present in almost every high-end smartphone today. If you are a firefighter or a swimming guy who interact with plenty of water then waterproof and water resistant smartphones are good for you but see that clearly if it supports this technology. Now you know that why you cannot use smartphone wet handed. So don’t wait to share this with your friends 🙂 Do Follow me on Facebook and like “Abdu Geek” page for more.