Capacitive multi-touch, mainly projected capacitive technology may be popular now, but it hasn’t always been so.
Active and passive digitisers were the technologies in use before the world was introduced to capacitive touch. With capacitive digitisers, the use of a pen was necessary to operate a device accurately.
One advantage that an active digitiser offered is that the system could detect a pen even when it was inches from the surface, thereby, allowing operators to follow the cursor.
Passive digitisers, on the other hand, had resistance settings, which meant that they could be operated without the use of a special pen. However, passive digitisers were not very friendly with mouse-operated interfaces.
Apple was the first phone manufacturer to bring capacitive multi-touch to consumers although it did not invent the technology. The first iPhone made it possible for users to operate their devices through gestures such as pinching, zooming and tapping, almost instantaneously.
Currently, the industry is flooded with phone manufacturers that have produced different models of smartphones that rely on capacitive multi-touch. At this point, a smartphone that lacks the technology is a catch that most consumers cannot reconcile.
Even with the modern capacitive multi-touch technology, there is still a potential for better performance, which is why some manufacturers include capacitive touch pens.
These pens offer the advantage of enhanced accuracy when operating touchscreen devices. Even with the most slender fingers, there is a margin for inaccuracy, and capacitive styli seek to correct that. The improved accuracy of a pen over a fingertip depends on the manufacturer.
Over the years, projected capacitive technology has developed significantly, but it can’t be assumed to be perfect.
Capacitive touch only works well when it is in the operating system it is designed to be used in. When used with software that was not originally meant for it, then a capacitive multi-touch screen will have trouble with certain operations and applications.
Some manufacturers have solved that problem by integrating capacitive multi-touch with pens.
Advances in capacitive touch and passive capacitive pens, ruggedpcreview.com
Digitizer and Resistive Touchscreen Explained, toughbookcentral.com