Multi-touch PCT™ allows developers of self service, public access & industrial devices to deploy the latest touch technology in the toughest environments
Zytronic has developed an innovative, multi-touch solution, based on its robust Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™), which consists of its new ZXY200 touch controller, accompanied by a ruggedized and scalable touch sensor. This solution has the capability to support 10 simultaneous touch points - thereby bringing the functionality that we have become familiar with in smartphones and tablets to a much wider range of large display formats, used in self-service, public use and industrial applications. Like all of Zytronic's PCT touch sensors, the multi-touch sensor solution uses a matrix of 10 micron diameter copper electrodes embedded within a thick, durable glass laminate which is both impact and scratch resistant.
Current alternative multi-touch solutions have certain drawbacks preventing them from being deployed successfully in self-service and industrial environments. Those using optical mechanisms, such as infrared (IR) or camera based systems, require an exposed bezel for housing the transmitter and receivers, leaving them susceptible to damage and a build-up of dust and dirt in the bezel recesses, which will affect long term performance. Likewise, existing projective capacitive multi-touch products, which primarily use Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), can only effectively detect a touch event through 1 or 2 mm of glass and are mostly limited to sub 22-inch sizes, both of which generally restricts their use to personal consumer devices and point of sales (PoS) terminals in supervised environments. Furthermore, ITO based sensors lack flexibility in that each new design or size requires a new set of photolithographic tools to be created, which can cost thousands of dollars, rendering them unsuitable for low to mid volume applications.
The Zytronic developed ZXY200 multi-touch controller and its accompanying touch sensor have the potential for use in ultra large sizes. Initially, the company will be offering 22, 32 and 46-inch sensors, but the release of larger formats is anticipated later in 2012, and custom sizes will be possible in low volumes. The Zytronic product offers superior through glass performance and offers 10 independent points of touch with a 4 mm toughened protective front glass. It also works with gloved hands. Both these features make it highly suited for a broader range of deployments.
This ruggedized multi-touch solution has been designed to be plug and play compatible with Microsoft's multi-touch capable operating systems - Windows® 7 and the forthcoming Windows® 8. It can also be used in conjunction with multi-touch application software such as Nuiteq's Snowflake and Omnivision's Omnitapps platforms.
According to Ian Crosby, Sales and Marketing Director of Zytronic, "The rugged construction and greater form factors supported mean that this multi-touch solution is the first to be truly optimised for being located in public places, either in outdoor or indoor environments. Among the applications areas for which it will be advantageous are interactive tables for restaurants and bars, gaming systems for casinos, industrial automation equipment, digital signage systems and educational tools."
"The flexibility of this controller to be applied to different sensor sizes means that one controller basically fits all. Our proprietary copper electrode deposition process allows us to offer a solution that can easily be scaled with no upfront NRE costs being accrued," Zytronic's Technical Director, Dr. Andrew Morrison. "In addition, the controller firmware can be accessed by the user to adjust sensitivity levels so that it can be tuned to match the precise needs of the system design it is being integrated into."
Demonstrations of 22-inch, 32-inch and 46-inchversions of the Zytronic multi-touch solution will be show cased on the company's stand (761) at the Society for Information Display's (SID's) Display Week, held 3rd-8th June 2012 in the Boston BCEC.