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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

A Touch of Glass

Touchscreen technology evolving from single touch to multitouch and gesturing
Ocular Inc.
Figure 1. Resistive touch screens have an outer layer of flexible film that must bend to make electrical contact. Projected capacitive touch screens feature a protective glass layer which conducts changes in the screen’s capacitance resulting from a touch.
Digital Dash
Figure 2. Digital Dash’s multifunctional solution uses familiar physical controls like knobs, buttons and sliders, with touch input, while remaining totally reconfigurable in software.
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By Barry Hochfelder

A lot of companies are working on larger panel touchscreens with a lot of functionality—multi-gesturing, robust in kiosks, gaming and ATMs.”

DuPont Display Enhancements (Torrance, Calif.) has been producing optical bonding through its Vertak™ technology for more than a decade. The technology provides improved performance, especially in sunlight readable displays. In March, DuPont and Ocular signed a licensing agreement.

“It was originally developed for bonding protective glass sheets for outdoor kiosk applications,” Mozdzyn says. “We use that process but have interest in developing it in touch panel processes as we go into larger and larger capacitive touchscreens.”

For example, the use of projected capacitive is allowing more advanced functionality. Original touchscreen use was a single-touch application to a big area with low resolution. That profile, Mozdzyn says, is changing rapidly. Now there is gesture support, single-finger, two-finger and multi-touch functionality.

ON THE ROAD

Touchscreens are making their way into the automotive market. One of the more innovative approaches is from Digital Dash (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada). Using what it calls Reconfigurable Tactile Display (RTD), Digital Dash’s multifunctional solution uses familiar physical controls like knobs, buttons and sliders, with touch input, while remaining totally reconfigurable in software. The functionality, says President Tim Pryor, allows the RTD to reduce driver distraction and remain intuitive.



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