Interactive Exhibition: Touch Screen Functionality & Gestures

In this post I showcase my research into touch screen functions, just to create a clear picture in my head of how these functions work. Because my exhibition will be displayed on two touch screen devices, I thought it was necessary before carrying out the wire frame and design process, to understand touch screen functionality just so I know what is possible and what I can do with my exhibition.


Here is a quick summary of the functionality of a touch screen device:

There are two main types of touch screen technology, capacitive and resistive.

Capacitive Touch Screen
A capacitive touch screen uses an external insulated material, such as ‘glass or plastic’ that is coated with a  transparent conductive material.Because the human body is also conductive, putting your finger on the screen changes the electrostatic field that is picked up by the sensors on the device pinpoint the location of the finger tip on the screen registering that the screen is being touched, thus for giving the desired function.

Resistive Touch Screen
This type of touch screen uses resistive layers of material that are placed parallel to each other with a slight gap. The inner and outer layers like the capacitive touch screen are coated with ‘conducting’ material. This creates a constant voltage between the layers, and when a finger is pressed on the screen this causes the layers to meet, which in  turn changes the voltage between the two layers, signifying that the screen is being touched.

From further research  it turns out that capacitive touch screens create greater functionality for the user, and the resistive touch screen are going out of date because it relies on pressure to make a gesture on a touch screen device that uses this method.

So in this case the ‘capacitive’ touch screen would be better fitted for my exhibition.

Touch Screen Gestures

Bellow is an image of some of the touch screen gestures used on modern day touch screen devices. The touch screen gestures that necessary for my exhibition are as follows:

Pinch & Stretch
To allow the user to zoom in and out on the exhibition, so they can zoom in and out of a certain area of interest on the exhibition.

To select any buttons they may find across the exhibition.

This would be used on the memorys, when they press and hold a quick summary of the memory pops up telling the user if this memory contains and images or notes, or the memorys stats.

So the user can slide and pan around the main area of interest.

Used for the scale at the side of the exhibition, this will allow the user to quickly move through all of the memory s.

Now I have a greater understanding of touch screen technology, and the gestures used.





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