Human interaction with electronic devices and mobile gadgets is continuously evolving with time. The earliest known form of communication between humans and computers were manually through the keyboard and other peripherals. However, that has changed over the years. We now live in the digital age powered by smart phones, wearables such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and so many other high-end tech gadgets.
Now, smartphones have touchscreens that accept analog signals as inputs and convert these impulses into digital information that can be shared, saved and manipulated in many ways. While they are smaller, lighter and more user-friendly, touchscreen devices actually contain many components to perform.
In this blog, we examine what touchscreens are, and why they are also popularly referred to as digitizers.
Between Touchscreens and Digitizers
Many smart devices – iPhone, iPod, and Android devices – commonly have three important components or layers. These layers are:
1st Layer: the glass panel, which is the topmost layer of the display. The glass panel is characteristically less than 1 millimeter in thickness. Whenever your device falls, the glass screen may shatter and form an unattractive cobweb pattern.
2nd Layer: the digitizer (also called the touchscreen), which is placed under the glass panel. This component is sensitive to touch, and responsible for converting these touch impulses into stimuli for the device to act on.
3rd Layer: the liquid crystal display (LCD) situated under the digitizer, which is the visual part below the glass panel. The function of the LCD layer is to display images on the screen.
A flex cable interfaces the digitizer with the LCD using a flex cable. This means that it’s through the flex cable that the digitizer is able to send the converted digital signals to the LCD for display.
People often refer to touchscreens as digitizers because these components are the ones responsible for converting analog signals from touch commands into digital signals for smart devices to read. Digitizers make the transmission of these touch impulses possible in smart gadgets.
Digitizers are made of glass, and are fragile. They can break or crack when exposed to pressure or stress. Therefore, when a digitizer in a touchscreen device breaks, it often alters the device’s functionality.
Most times, when a touchscreen device’s digitizer breaks, the device may fail to respond to touch. Some parts of the screen may work while the others are irresponsive. In this case, you’ll have to replace with a new digitizer.
Since the digitizer is fused with the glass panel, replacing the digitizer also means you’ll have to replace the glass screen, and vice versa.