Touch-sensitive user interfaces have seen an enormous emergence in the last decade, no doubt influenced by the popularity of tablets and smartphones that use the same principle. A mere touch or swipe of the finger on the control panel is translated into an action, offering an intuitive user experience and making the technology fit for a wide range of applications in every sector and domain. The translucent panels offer a nearly limitless number of possibilities for backlighting, design and branding.
How it works
Capacitive sensing technology is based upon the constant monitoring of the electrical capacity of the touch area, which is changed by a human finger. As the human body is an electrical conductor, touching the surface of the screen results in a distortion of the screen’s electrostatic field. Depending on the location of the touch and the movement that is detected (swiping, tapping), a specific action will be triggered.
Intuitive user interaction
The popularity of capacitive touch screens for a wide range of applications, from home appliances to industrial machines, is still on the rise. The reason for their popularity is obvious. Not only do they offer a very intuitive and pleasant user experience, they are also very familiar to users of mobile phones, tables, tv-sets and laptops. There is also an important aesthetic aspect. The translucent panels offer a nearly limitless number of possibilities for backlighting, design and branding. Black panel effects have made the user interfaces – often a thorn in the eye of designers – almost invisible when they are not being used.
Endless design possibilities
When people think of touch screens today, they typically think of flat surfaces with backlighting indicating where the keys or touchpoints are. Through rapid advancements in printed electronics, they are transformed into truly smart surfaces, offering a wide range of new design and functional possibilities. There is simply no reason why a touch screen should still be flat – it can take on any shape, from curved surfaces to 3D shapes. Wireless communication technologies are easily added, creating many new functionalities.
- Home appliances
- Automotive interiors
- Vending machines
- Wellness (whirlpools, saunas)
- Medical devices
- Communication and navigation devices
- Light switches
A fully customized solution
Capacitive keys, sliders and wheels
Screen-printed on flexible films or directly on cover glass
Applied on flat, curved and 3D surfaces
Touch, proximity and gesture functionalities
Chemically or thermally tempered glass
Surface treated PMMA / Acrylic and polycarbonate
Leather, wood and many other surface materials
Freedom to use your preferred touch controller
Quad Industries is Microchip Design partner
I²C, SPI, UART or digital I/O
Backlighting and haptics
Transparent conductor printing allows for smooth backlighting
Black panel effects allow for secret until lit functionality
Combination with haptics adds feedback properties
With the Neo series, Henkelman is transforming the traditional packaging machine into an intelligent device. The touch panel, combined with a mobile app, opens up a wealth of new possibilities and functionality for professional chefs. Close collaboration between technology partners proved crucial in the development phase.
When Animo decided to re-design its ComBi-line range of coffee machines, the company was aiming for a modern look and feel along with a high-quality finish. The touch screen display played an important role in realizing this ambition while ensuring maximum user-friendliness.