Multi-touch comes to resistive touchscreens

Updated on 11 November 2019 by


Jkkmobile points out an interesting video from Engadget that shows some interesting multi-touch demos on a resistive touchscreen. Have a look at the video embedded below, but be sure to stick around for some thoughts below.


The demos are definitely neat, but I’m a very big proponent of capacitive touch technology, not because of multi-touch, but because of its consistent recognition of input. Multi-touch and the ability to do gestures is great, but I would argue that it is not the best part of capacitive touch technology. So they have managed to port the multi-touch facet of capacitive touchscreens over to resistive touchscreens, but they stick lack the consistent detection of input. Nothing is more annoying to me than having to click on one item several times because it is easy for a resistive touchscreen to either miss or misinterpret your input. It really ruins the touchscreen experience. Low pressure input resistive screens help to alleviate this to some degree but the issue still remains. Capacitive touch’s ability to extremely consistently recognize touch input is what makes it possible to have a viable on-screen keyboard on a device the size of the iPhone. I’ve tried many other resistive touch phones with OSKs, and the experience is almost embarrassing to the hardware.

As for the pressure sensitivity of the demoed screen: The way it was described is that it recognizes how much pressure you are putting on the screen by how much contact there is with the surface of your finger. If this is the correct explanation of how the technology works, then pressure sensitivity will not be able to be measured with a stylus. When you apply more pressure to a surface with your finger, the skin around the bone presses down with a larger surface area, this obviously doesn’t occur with the tip of a stylus.

This is definitely good for resistive touchscreens and a jump forward for devices that will continue to use them, but in many cases I still feel like capacitive touch offers the best experience.

21 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    Multi-touch comes to resistive touchscreens

  2. Kevin Leacock says:

    RT via @bvlad – Multi-touch comes to resistive touchscreens (

  3. Bernard Glassman says:

    “When you apply more pressure to a surface with your finger, the skin around the bone presses down with a larger surface area, this obviously doesn’t occur with the tip of a stylus.”

    The Pogo stylus for the iPhone is smushy (arcane technical term, sorry) and delivers a varied circumference surface when pressed down. While I’m not thrilled with its performance on the iPhone, used on this screen, it should do the same and might be a great proxy for pressure. I can only assume that the screen software can either be adjusted for finger size (not great,) or that it calculates the degree of change in area (better.)

  4. shunhe says:

    Hi: after watching ur vdieo on the everun note i bouhjt one from mobilx. but after receivig it i was shoch that the D60H does not come with WinXP preinstall or the CD. That is ok but i was really upset that the top cover come with scratches. I dont know what am i going to do. I rop them a email so awaiting instruction from them. their services is go but the scratches really spoil my mood.

  5. llun:/næt/ not /lʊn/ says:

    [Google reader] Multi-touch comes to resistive touchscreens

  6. ZSX says:

    I wonder whether the capactiative vs. resistive debate is going to be like the one between LCD vs. plasma on TVs. I like capacitative, but there are times when I need to use a stylus (handwriting for instance, or drawing diagrams). Resistive technology will advance to the stage where the sensitivities are indistinguishable.

  7. Christian Kurz says:

    What really matters with this news is if it will become avaible on existing phones.
    For new phones you could always use a capacitve touchscreen if you would want multitouch but changing the touchscreen in existing phones is an awful task to must normal users. I would really like to install this software on some of my organizers/phones.

    On the other hand i dont see any real advantege in having multitouch. Sure it is somehow better than nothaving it but there are few programs which are actually faster/easier/in general better to use with multitouch.
    At the moment, Multitouch is just a nice feature to show off in front of your friends.

  8. Christian Kurz says:

    While again reading through the information on the viliv x70 i have to admit that there actually IS an application which should improve with Multitouch:
    On Screen Thumbkeyboards. Though, these are generally useless without capacitive Touchscreens wich renders this technology no more useful.

    Though, if they really get it right with the on screen thumb keyboards i might be considering a slate style device in the future. They would have to get rid of that bezel around the screen though (as HTC did with their newer phones – touchscreens wich are completly flat with the rest of the device).

  9. Christian Kurz says:

    This one might be perfect if the onscreens keyboard works well:

  10. Vampirecat says:

    Handwriting recognition should improve. I can see this taking off in tablet convertibles…now if only they’d develop bigger versions. The company’s site shows a 3.5-inch screen as their largest product. Personally, I thought the use of a paintbrush showed high sensitivity and that zoom-in with the stylus demo was pretty accurate.

  11. Higher LCD TVs says:

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points here. Thanks!

  12. Yoruba Movies says:

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again , Thanks.

  13. swanin says:

    Really a great !!

    I am sure, you are able to solve many many technology challenge by using this. I will really for the moment to see it in commercial

    Keep on doing.

    I am also working on Multi touch technology.
    Lets see future.

  14. Reg3e says:

    He said it possible to adapt this onto existing phones… does that include SE viva? 5800xm? n900?

  15. Ching-Yao Yu â„  says:

    @DonnyBenfield and don’t say resistive doesn’t do multi-touch, because it does.

  16. Ivan daniel says:

    multitouch on resisteve touch screen. looks very good

  17. Mehmet Emre ATASEVER says:

  18. George says:

    Well I see why many today are proponent of capacitive displays, but honestly, for users like me with sweaty hands, capacitive screens are a nightmare; i’ve used both the iphone and hd2, and the sweat left over on the screen from my thumbs actually registers as screen clicks.

    It’d be great if they made resistive better.

  19. johnV says:

    @ George – talking about sweaty hands, that’s the reason why touch screen phones that also double as barcode scanners in warehouses and field-based operations use resistive touch screen displays.

    In Asian countries, where most people need to scribble characters (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans), a stylus-enabled phone is a must… and we know how terrible capacitive touch screens are when it comes to using those.

    Personally, I think resistive touch screen phones are here to stay but they’re going to target a different niche from the capacitive-enabled ones. Here are 10 phones that are all resistive: Most of them have been pretty successful in the market, so not everyone is really looking for an iPhone.

  20. Lee Dumond says:

    Interesting – didn't know resistive touchscreens could support multi-touch

  21. Chris Blasko says:

    @dizimatt I know what you mean, those are the old type. See these vids: and

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