Do screens detect the difference between fingers and other bits of your body ?

closed as off-topic by Evil Closet Monkey, Devin, plainclothes, Mayo, Graham Herrli Aug 27 '16 at 7:24

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  • Does it know? Or does it sense pressure? – Mayo Aug 26 '16 at 14:44
  • I am forever muting myself with my own cheek, so I don't think this is a thing! It happens every time I smile. Had to switch to earbuds for calls. – LindaCamillo Aug 26 '16 at 16:19
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    @LindaBrammer many of the google results for "proximity sensor" have to do with fixing a malfunctioning one; might be worth looking into... – Daniel Beck Aug 26 '16 at 21:31
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is asking about the technology behind mobile device capabilities, not the usability of those capabilities. – Evil Closet Monkey Aug 26 '16 at 22:12
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    @LindaBrammer A lot of phone cases can interfere with the proximity sensor. Also, sometimes a case can work fine for months and then it starts interfering with the sensor because it has stretched or dust has built up between it and the sensor. So, if you're using a case, it may be worth removing it and trying the phone without it as a test. – Monomeeth Aug 27 '16 at 1:02

Both Apple and Android devices, along with presumably any other touchscreen phone, include a proximity sensor that can detect when a large object -- such as your head -- is in close proximity to the screen, and disables the touchscreen if so.

  • Cool. So somebody has had to think about what constitutes a large object ( head) and not set this screen lockout to be oversensitive to the hand that my finger is attached to. – PhillipW Aug 27 '16 at 7:20

When I press the phone up to my ear, it seems that the camera recognizes this and either dims or turns off the screen to not allow interaction at that time. I would presume this is a sensing unit to stop cancelling the call etc.

"Sorry, ear hung up the call again!"

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