Latest Touch Display for the Raspberry Pi

Those who were on the lookout for a proper touch display for their single board computer, the Raspberry Pi or RBPi can now rest easy. The official RBPi touch display is on sale at several stores and others will be receiving stock very soon. Users of RBPi models such as Rev 2.1, B+, A+ and Pi 2 can now use the simple embeddable display, instead of having to hook it up to a TV or a monitor. Watch the You-Tube video demonstration for a better understanding.

The new official touch display for the RBPi is a 7” touchscreen LCD. A conversion board interlinks the display module with the LCD and plugs into the RBPi through the display connector. Although the ribbon cable is the same as that used by the camera, the two do not work interchangeably. Therefore, identify the display connector first, before plugging in the ribbon cable from the display.

You can power up the display in one of three ways: using a separate power supply, using a USB link or by using GPIO jumpers. When using a separate power supply, you need a separate USB power supply with a micro-USB connector cable. The power supply must have a rating of at least 500mA and requires plugging in to the display board at PWR IN.

It is also possible to power the RBPi through the display board. For this, use an official RBPi power supply of rating 2A and plug it into the display board at PWR IN. Use another standard micro-USB connector cable from the PWR OUT connector and plug it into the RBPi power in point.

Powering the display from the RBPi GPIO requires using two jumpers – one from the 5V and the other from the GND pins of the GPIO.

After plugging in the ribbon cable and making one of the above power connections between the RBPi and the display, using the display requires updating and upgrading the OS on the RBPi. On rebooting, the OS automatically identifies the new display and starts to use it as its default display rather than the HDMI. To allow the HDMI display to stay on as default, the config.txt file must contain the line:


For further setup steps, follow these instructions.

The RBPi display comes with an integrated 10-point touchscreen. The driver for the touchscreen is capable of outputting both full multi-touch events and standard mouse events. Therefore, it is capable of working with ‘X’ – the display system of Linux, although X was never designed to work with a touchscreen.

For finger touch operations in cross-platform applications, the Python GUI development system Kivy is a great help. Although designed to work with touchscreen devices on tablets and phones, Kivy works fine with RBPi.

The 7” touchscreen display for the RBPi is of industrial quality from Inelco Hunter and boasts of an RGB display with a resolution of 800×480 at 60fps. It displays images with 24-bit color and a 70-degree viewing angle. The metal backed display has mounting holes for the RBPi and comes with an FT5406 10-point capacitive touchscreen.