Subs & Systems
IGT – Tough custom capacitive touch panels feature multi-colour selective backlightingJul 6 2012 - Subs & Systems [More Subs & Systems Articles]
HMI specialist, IGT Industries, now offers innovative thin-film back-lighting on its range of scalable, vandal and water resistant custom capacitive touch panels.
Capacitive touchscreens have many advantages in both consumer and industrial MMI/HMl interfaces and are widely used in applications including mobile phones, MP3 players, PDAS, home entertainment, home automation systems and brown and white goods. Their use in industrial applications has been limited until recently due to screen size limitations, low screen resolution and a lack of visual clarity.
The most recent IGT development combines, in one thin layer, capacitive switching and multi-colour area-specific backlighting provided by use of remote LEDs and thin light guides embedded into the capacitive sensing flexible layer. By successfully combining these two leading-edge technologies, secret-until-lit areas, colour changes on key operation and colour-coded visual directions including simple animation effects can communicate the end system’s operating mode.
Terry Moss, sales and marketing manager, IGT Industries, said: “IGT Industries is a market leader in the design and manufacture of user interface systems. Our market leading capacitive switching solutions offer tri-colour LED thin film illumination with selective area backlighting. Our ability to integrate other styles of operator interfaces into our keyboards, including joysticks, rollerballs, glide pads, touchscreens and conventional tactile and non-tactile keypads, allows us to offer our customers very flexible solutions to their control needs.”
ln style-driven applications where appearance and functionality are equally important, this versatile innovative technology provides a new, user-friendly product interface that offers a sleek, bezel-free appearance and outstanding user feedback combined with ‘excellent’ reliability and long life due to the absence of moving parts.
Capacitive touchscreen technology combined with selective thin-film backlighting offers users numerous advantages over other forms of MMI including increased security. The touchscreen will work behind a protective overlay and when mounted to the rear face of a glass, polycarbonate or acrylic front panel HMI units are resistant to both accidental and deliberate damage, enabling them to be used in public-facing applications such as information kiosks and self-service ticketing machines. The control surface does not have to be flat, so the MMI/HMl assembly can be embedded into more ergonomic and aesthetically attractive units.
IGT capacitive switching solutions can be sealed to lP66 or greater against the ingress of dust or water, enabling them to be installed and used outdoors or in dusty industrial applications where the screens can be successfully operated while wearing a thick glove.
Customers can specify the sensitivity of their IGT capacitive keyboard and to prevent operator errors adjacent key suppression can be enabled, a particular advantage in very high sensitivity units. lGT can develop a custom software interface to suit the end equipment to be controlled and units with USB, l2C, SPl, UART and other standard interfaces have been developed.
Light blocking features can be included to give high optical isolation and good contrast between segments. Conductive pads or tracking for capacitive and other switch technologies can be printed within the light guide structure and a top graphic or diffusing material is then added, says the company.More news from IGT