Friday, February 14, 2020

I Have Zombie Fingers

I’ll say it again, I have zombie fingers when I wake up at 3 AM, my tablet doesn’t sense my fingers and I found out what it is called.
Touchscreen trouble? It could be zombie finger
Here's why capacitive screens don't respond to every touch
Consumer Reports
Published: June 02, 2015

Some smartphone and tablet users are afflicted with a malady. No matter how hard they press on the display, they just can’t seem to get the device to acknowledge their touch. These people may have the same problem with laptop touchpads. In layman’s terms, they suffer from zombie finger.

“The capacitive touch sensor is—to most people—this kind of magical thing,” says Andrew Hsu, Ph.D., a pioneer in touchscreen tech at Synaptics, a major supplier of the technology to electronics manufacturers. “In an ideal situation, you barely touch the surface of the screen and the sensor is able to detect the presence of your finger.” In some cases, however, that finger confounds the technology.

“It’s a problem we’ve been wrestling with for 20 years now,” says Hsu. “It’s a very delicate balance. We spend a lot of time essentially trying to determine whether a user has touched the surface or not.”

It was longer than twenty years ago. I have a Philips 212 turntable that has capacitive touch sensor back in 1973 when I bought it and my mother had problems with them back then. It was because she was old and had dry skin just like I do now.
In the end, though, capacitive touchscreens are not foolproof. Living, breathing people with thick callouses on their fingers—think guitar players or carpenters—struggle with these touchscreens because the dead skin on their fingertips prevents the flow of electricity. People wearing gloves tend to experience trouble. People with very dry hands, too. “I’ve also heard of women with really long fingernails having problems,” says Daniel Tower, an engineer at Wacom, which makes drawing tablets and styluses. Basically, anything that limits your hand’s conductivity is a potential pitfall.
“People with very dry hands, too” like me.

It happens mostly at night, the in the house it turned down to 58, winter with the dry air, and laying in bed I hold the tablet at eye level so the blood drains out of them (it also makes it hard to draw blood to test my FBG) and in certain areas on the tablet screen I have to hold my finger on the screen until it senses it.

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