A resistive touchscreen has a tough-but-resilient, transparent top layer that yields slightly to the touch. This slight "resistive" movement of the top layer allows contact with a lower, electrically conductive layer that creates a change in current. The location of this current change on the screen correlates with displayed user menu features, allowing touch control of the electronic device.
Resistive touchscreens are the most common type used for portable automotive and handheld GPS devices. However, GPS services are increasingly being delivered via smartphones using capacitive touchscreens that permit a lighter touch, and multi-touch control.