As a specialized in touch technology R&D in more than 20 years, we are frequently asked about the difference in optical touch technology and infrared touch technology. Here is some detailed explanation to help you understand the technology difference.
Optical Imaging is a new technology compared with infrared touch technology. Due to its competitive pricing in cameras, it has become more and more popular in large displays. 2 and 4 cameras are capable of detecting touch over a large area. 2 camera means 2 touches and 4 sensor means 4 touches or 10 touches. They also can detect gestures and movements well so they are a good technology for displays that requires handwriting. Not only it is widely used in the interactive whiteboard, but it also can be found in interactive flat panels.
How it works
• Two or more optical cameras are placed in the corners of the display. Normally in the top left and top right corners.
• Infrared backlights can emit a sufficient amount of infrared light, with the help of the bezels installed with strong infrared light reflector strip in all side, the infrared light reflects off the bezel and is detected by the sensors.
• When the surface was touched, a shadow in the IR light grid occurs.
• This shadow signal is sent to the display’s mainboard which can calculate the position of the touch.
• Scales to large displays. If size bigger, the cost would be the same or similar.
• Support multi-touch and gesture recognition.
• In Multi-touch not as good as infrared due to only 2 or 4 sensors.
• New technology needs to be tested in a long time running in end uses.
• Cameras are very fragile. If the camera vibrates and not in the correct position, the whole sensors need to be repaired.
Infrared Touch technology
Infrared touch technology or called IR can be found in applications such as Kiosks, ATMs, interactive whiteboards, interactive flat panel or some large displays. This is a very old and mature touch technology no matter in big size or small size. All the touch sensors are sealed to make it suitable for outdoor applications too. IN-Display utilizes IR touch sensing in its all products line such as interactive whiteboard and interactive flat panels.
How it works
• An infrared sensor is made of LED bulbs as infrared light emitters and receivers around the screen’s edge.
• The light beams cross one another to produce an intense infrared grid.
• When touched, the light is was stopped and the infrared receivers fail to pick up the beam from emitters.
• The coordinates of the stopping point can be calculated by the mainboard of sensors.
• Long time mature touch technology covers 80% of the touch technology market
• Good balance between cost and touch accurate.
• Sensors can be sealed and used in extreme environments.
• Can detect multiple touchpoints with gestures recognition. Now the most popular is 10 points touch at least.
All IN-Display products touch technology can use these 2 technologies. There is no best technology in all aspects, but you can find out the best suitable technology depends on your customer demand.