Screens with Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology are designed with scratch resistant glass, a highly durable build and an IP rating. They offer high contrast and color accuracy. When compared to capacitive and resistive touch screens, SAW technology is less expensive.
They are the perfect choice for use in public environments such as hotel lobbies, office buildings, auto dealerships, bank branches, gaming casinos, healthcare waiting rooms, retail stores, train stations and other high traffic indoor environments. However, SAW touch screens are not recommended to be used outdoors, as deep scratches in the glass surface or contaminants like dirt, insects and water droplets can interfere with the touch.
SAW touchscreens rely upon sound waves; thus, “sound wave reflectors” are placed along the edges of the glass. Two transducers are placed in two of the corners, and two receivers are mounted in the opposite corners. A sound wave travels parallel to the edges of the glass. When the sound wave encounters the reflectors, the wave is transmitted from the transducers to the receivers. A touch point is detected when a drop in the amplitude of the sound wave occurs, in other words, when the finger makes contact with the screen.
Typically, the software of devices for public use equipped with SAW screens is designed to support one touch and involves step-by-step use.
- Kiosks, POI and POS
- Electronic Catalogs
- Selling tools in car dealerships
The number of touch screens is increasing in public spaces, especially in shopping malls. For instance, SAW touch screens allow visitors to get information about the place, find the right store, and flip through advertisements.
- Production and workflow
- Industrial Control Rooms
Previously, factory automation or, in other words, control systems for factory lines used to be equipped by analog control panels teeming with many switches, knobs, and lamps. These analog control panels had been facing challenges concerning working efficiency and investment costs.
With the introduction of SAW technology, these panels became much easier to use. Now screens can broadcast graphics, characters and/or alarm signals. They are cheaper and more compact in size. It is easier to meet specification changes as new functions can be added just by modifying software.
It is also possible to use SAW monitors in the chemical industry. The working surface of the screen does not oxidize, does not corrode, does not react with household chemicals.
- Hospitality like self-check-in
- Various gaming machines, arcades, lottery
- Amusement park kiosks
- Menu order terminals
SAW touch screens can be used for various gaming machines, amusement arcades, bowling terminals and so on. In public entertainment spaces, where people of various ages can be seen, SAW touch screens seem to be the best solution since anyone can easily operate them.
When it comes to entertainment sphere, touch screens can be put in rough conditions. For instance, the screen may get pressed by a burning cigarette. Therefore, the surface needs to be tough. From this perspective, SAW touchscreens are preferred because their surface is made of resistant glass.
- Ticketing machines
- Point-Of-Information Kiosks
- Self check-in terminals
SAW monitors are equipped with anti-vandal, shock-resistant, thick glass which can withstand thousands of touches daily. Even heavy contamination (dust, dirt, grease) on the screen will not cause any malfunction. To continue working with contaminated SAW screen, it is enough to clean it with a wet wipe.
- Automated cash dispensers
- Banking/Financial Transactions
- Multimedia Pay Phones
Now we can easily pay for goods or withdraw money on our own using self-service ATMs. Shock-resistant, thick glass protects SAW monitors from vandals. Such monitors can be used in any season of the year and in different climate conditions. At extremely low/ high operating temperatures it is necessary maintain the heating/cooling of the equipment where the touch monitor is integrated.
- Operation room PCs
- Waiting areas
SAW touch screens are widely used in medical field. Touch screens are frequently installed in waiting halls.
Even untrained patients can easily use such touchscreens. For instance, hospital beds are often equipped with touch screen terminals. Patients can input their conditions into the system and send this information to the physicians. These terminals are also used to call the nurse.
To sum up, SAW technology has clear advantages in terms of usage and investment costs:
- High throughput;
- High transparency;
- Long service life;
- Anti-vandal, shock-resistant, thick glass;
- Liquids and condensation will not damage the screen;
- A heavy contamination (dust, dirt, grease) on the screen will not cause any malfunction;
- Wide operating temperature range;
- The working surface of the screen is not susceptible to corrosion and oxidation;
- SAW technology is less expensive than other touch solutions.