Collaboration delivers surface haptics in compact industrial HMI solutions

13-12-2021 | Distec | Subs & Systems

Distec GmbH has partnered with Tanvas, Inc. to provide finished industrial touch monitors with software-defined tactile textures and haptic effects on the touch surface.

Past technologies to implement haptic feedback on touchscreens, such as electromechanical and vibrotactile haptics, are not appropriate for IP-rated HMIs as they need movement of the front glass. There are no moving parts with TanvasTouch, and changes in friction appear as fine textures, edges and bumps that can be felt with minimal visual distraction. Moreover, those software-defined haptics enable an unlimited range of effects that can be felt with the swipe of a finger. The haptic feedback's behaviour, size, and position can be customized for individual use via the provided API.

"We offer industrial touch monitors with dust, water, fire, and impact resistance, but haptic feedback adds a completely new dimension to our devices," said Matthias Keller, managing director, Distec. "With this technology, we can combine the versatility of displays with the haptic benefits of physical buttons on our monitors. The feature is simple to integrate and does not create any additional complexity to the system. The combination of a slim IP65 front-protected stainless-steel housing and the possibility to display haptic structures on the touchscreen makes the forthcoming devices pioneers in the field of industrial monitors."

"Electroadhesion-based surface haptics do not require any moving parts at all, eliminating issues caused by vibration, air gaps or ceiling limits while expanding both the range of textures and tactile effects possible," said Alex Kessler, head of business development, EMEA at Tanvas, Inc. "Working with Distec to broaden access to new technology and modern interfaces, we are proud to offer low and mid-volume purchases that enable any company to create applications to suit their specific needs. TanvasTouch has a broad range of applications beyond industrial including automotive, home automation and any commercial display or smart surface."

By Natasha Shek