Embedded Touchscreen Computers and Their Need for Proper Calibration

Touch screen technology has been used in industry for decades, and has become increasingly common over the last ten years as the technology improves and costs drop. The most common applications include checkouts and ATMs, as well as controllers in plants and factories.


In the industrial environment, an embedded touchscreen computer is quicker and easier to use than a system of buttons, switches and other controls, and more adaptable to changes in process. Touch screens are robust and reliable, thanks to their simple construction, and take up less room than a computer terminal.

 
Many touch screens used in industrial settings are of the resistive type. These screens consist of two sheets of material with a small gap between them. A touch causes the layers to meet, and a resistive coating detects the touch. Resistive touch screens are cost effective and can be operated while wearing gloves, or using a stylus.

 
To be used effectively, an embedded touchscreen computer must be calibrated, and this is usually the first step in setting up the system. Calibration ensures that the touch sensors correspond to the correct area on the visual display, allowing users to get the results they want. Because there are many brands and types of sensor, which work in slightly different ways, calibration is an important part of configuring a touch screen system.

 
Calibration is achieved by the controller of the embedded touchscreen computer or by a software driver running on a PC, which runs complicated algorithms to collect and analyse data from a number of points across the screen.

 
Today, most embedded touchscreen computer systems will come with a pre-programmed calibration routine that will launch the first time the system is used and walk the user through the process, so technical knowledge is not required.

 
Sources:


The Use of Touch-screens in Industrial Applications, ecnmag.com

How to calibrate touch screens, embedded.com

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