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PSA: Mirror Film Will Not Work on Capacitive Touchscreens

  • So my idea was to use mirror film on a touch screen monitor to make a touch screen version of the magic mirror.

    The Test

    I basically used my old droid razr, which has a capacitive touchscreen, to perform the testing. I applied 2 way mirror film to the screen, and examined the results.


    The mirror film acted as a conductive and triggered the touch screen on all sides. Essentially it was the same as placing your whole hand on the screen and trying to tap over top of it.


    As seen in this image, I was somehow able to actually slide the lock to one side but it simply stuck there as if I never took my finger off.
    (Ignore the bubbles on the film, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time making it perfect since this was just my testing phase)

    Mirror Film on Capacitive Touch Test 1

    In this gif, I peeled off the film and applied it sideways, which made it to where I couldn’t tap anything. This is as if I laid my hand over one half of the display, and tried to tap something.

    Mirror Film on Capacitive Touch Test 2

    In the last gif, I actually found out you can practically use the film as a stylus.

    Mirror Film on Capacitive Touch Test 3


    This won’t work for what I want haha.

    I’m not sure where to go with this idea from here, maybe someone has a suggestion? Mirror Film does not seem to be the way to go.

    Maybe one of the other touch technologies would not have these problems, but I am not quite sure.

    • Update -

    So a thought occurred to me over night. I work as IT for an automotive company, and just recently setup an older touchscreen device for another department. I still had it under my desk, so I went ahead and brought in a piece of my mirror film.

    Since it’s an older model of touchscreen on this device, it’s a resistive touch screen. Sure enough, it works through the film!

    So it appears that you will need a resistive touch screen if you plan to make something like this of your own. However, they’re not cheap, and you lose some ability like multi touch. For my purposes, multi touch isn’t a problem, and for the cost issue I have found some touch screen conversion kits that are pretty cheap and resistive!

    So it looks like there’s hope for this project of mine.

  • Hi @EoF,

    Today i’ve received my first raspberry PI (3 model B ) and installed magic mirror. My idea was also too create a touch screen version of the magic mirror. My inspiration to get into this project was this video and I wanted to create something similar:

    I’m looking forward to the progress of your research. I’ll let you know if I find something that can be of use for this project.

  • @sdrenth Yeah please keep in touch! I think the next thing I’m going to try is one of those resistive touch screen overlays on I keep seeing on Ebay. You can get a 19" for about $50. Problem is they’re made and shipped from China… Which means I don’t know how soon I’m going to get one.

  • Moderator

    @EoF, anywhere between 20 days to a month is how it takes for them to get stuff to me in the US.

  • @KirAsh4 wow that is a while… Have you ever ordered any of those touch screen kits? I’m looking at one like this

  • Moderator

    I have not, but I do order a lot of small electronics, custom made PCBs, and stuff like that. Unless I pay the additional $35 DHL service fee, my orders take roughly 3 weeks to arrive. Some of them don’t offer a DHL service, in which case you’re stuck waiting for regular China Post to get to you through the several layers of customs …

  • @KirAsh4 Ah alright I was just curious.

  • @EoF That indeed might take a while before you’ll get it. Could you provide me with a link of the touch screen you’ve ordered? I’m guessing it’s a standard touch screen or does it also have the mirror overlay?

    I’ve just contacted a manufacturer in the United Kingdom which manufactures all kinds of displays, as well as touch mirrors in the hope that they can provide me with some more information about what kind of material we need to be looking for and maybe even provide them. Don’t know if they will respond but I thought it was worth a shot 🙂

  • @sdrenth Awesome! I was actually just looking at their site earlier.

    I’ve been looking for resitive touch screen panel kits. Essentially they’re an overlay you apply to a normal monitor, connect via USB, and it “makes” it into a touchscreen.

    However, I am have a very hard time finding one that is decent. They only place I can even find them listed is on ebay, and they all have one little thing wrong with them. Such as being incorrect size, incorrect aspect ratio, or something else.

    I can’t seem to catch a break 😕

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