Subs & Systems
ITAC – Versatile and rugged HMIs feature novel energy-harvesting piezoelectric keysSep 24 2012 - Subs & Systems [More Subs & Systems Articles]
ITAC Systems, a manufacturer of industrial desktop and panel-mount trackballs, joysticks and other rugged human-machine interfaces (HMI), has announced that it now represents Swiss keyboard manufacturer, Algra, in the UK and Ireland. Algra has been manufacturing keyboards, keypads and fascia panels since 1979 and specialises in producing rugged customised products for applications used in demanding environments or where vandalism may be encountered, for example in public kiosks.
Algra’s particular strength is in piezoelectric keyboards and keypads. In these, key depressions are detected by the voltage produced when a piezoelectric pill or surface lacquer is pressurised by a finger on the fascia of the keyboard. As there is negligible mechanical movement, the keyboards have long operating life and do not suffer from the same wear-out mechanisms as conventional keys. Amongst Algra’s more recent innovations is an energy-harvesting piezoelectric key that transmits a wireless signal to indicate a key depression without the use of batteries or connecting cables.
ITAC’s managing director, Dave Mellor, said: “ITAC’s mission is to bring its customers the widest possible choice of input technologies so that they can select the most appropriate for each application. Algra’s products complement our own trackballs, joysticks and keyboards, further extending customer choice and introducing new input devices that can be used in conjunction with those we manufacture ourselves.”