Force Sensing combined with Capacitive Touch has been around for several years as an potential UI enhancement although it has never become a mainstream technology due to consistency in operation, particularly on larger screen diagonals and in harsh environments.
The recent introduction of Force Touch and 3D Touch to mobile handsets, wearables and PC products has renewed interest in the technology although at TouchNetix we believe the mainstream use cases will be different for Industrial, Automotive, Medical and similar product applications.
The screen capture shown above gives a feel for the potential of this new technology which is primarily aimed at screens >5" diagonal. This image shows an application running in Windows which draws a line width which is directly proportional to how hard the user presses the front lens. A typical resitive touchscreen responds to ~100g of press so our capacitive pressScreen can provide a similar user experience without the wearout and optical disadvantages. The technology is similar to force sensing but is implemented in a way which is entirely robust and suitable for high reliability and integrity applications.
Capacitive pressScreen is a new technology which is based on the widely deployed and familiar projected multi-touch capacitive touchscreen technology used in mobile handsets and tablet PC's and which adds an extra layer of functionality as the screen is pressed and touched at the same time.
The system responds in the normal way to mutiple touch points on the screen and adds the extra layer of press information in an integrated and proportional way for the whole touch surface. This information can either be used or ignored by the OS, as required.
There are many possible applications for this kind of system, a few are listed below:
Market segments where we believe this will be of particular interest:
TouchNetix has developed this new technology to be responsive and easy to deploy. The system has a good dynamic response and so can identify not only finger pressure but also 'tap' intensity as shown in the above screen capture. The system responds unifirmly across the surface from the lightest 'feather' touch through to some Kg of integrated pressure.
TouchNetix experience of deploying capacitive touchscreens in the most demanding environments has guided the development of our press sensing technology to ensure it can be deployed in high EMC and other aggressive environments which are not typically seen in lower end consumer applications such as mobile handsets.
TouchNetix is the leading independent provider of high performance capacitive touch technology in Europe.
Established in 2010 by the management team of the Touch Products group of Atmel, TouchNetix continues to drive the deployment of flawless capacitive touch technology into mission critical applications.
TouchNetix have delivered hundreds of high performance capacitiive touchscreen projects with a right-first-time philosophy.
If this technology is interesting for your applications, please call us - we would love to chat with you. We are looking to develop and deploy this technology through relationships with OEM's who have a similar philosophy to ours.
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