Zytouch touchscreen technology is critical enabler of emerging outdoor retail kiosk market
Zytronic has announced its ZYTOUCH® Through Glass touchscreen technology has enabled kiosk manufacturer Pro-Tech to create a new type of rugged, 'self ordering' kiosk that will help grow sales from convenience stores (c-stores), such as those located at gas stations.
The Pro-Tech DuraView Kiosk will allow car drivers, for example, to order sandwiches or other c-store products while filling their vehicle at the pump. This added convenience will help c-store owners attract additional sales from drivers who would otherwise simply pay for gas at the pump and leave immediately.
“Building a kiosk that will withstand the rigors of outdoor deployment is crucial to developing this new market,” said Peter Kaszycki, president of Pro-Tech, explaining that the touchscreen is the most vulnerable part of the kiosk. “Only Zytronic’s ZYTOUCH® technology met all our criteria concerning environmental conditions, legibility at any ambient light level, and very high resistance to accidental or willful damage. ZYTOUCH® is a critical enabler of this emerging market sector.”
Pro-Tech engineers identified five key criteria when evaluating available touchscreen technologies. These were low maintenance, high brightness, the ability to operate at temperatures ranging from 0°F in winter up to 120°F in summer, hermetic sealing for high resistance to rain, snow or wash-down, and high resistance to damage including scratching by car keys or other tools, or deliberate vandalism.
ZYTOUCH® achieves projected capacitance sensing using an array of fine-gauge wires thinner than a human hair. This array is embedded within the screen, thereby hermetically sealed and also well protected against damage. The screen is of laminated construction using regular glass, toughened glass, or polycarbonate, depending on the application requirements. The array is invisible to the user and does not reduce the brightness of the screen, allowing the kiosk to be used in all lighting conditions and avoiding excessive power consumption. The pattern of the sensing wires is also carefully skewed to prevent optical fringing. This would spoil the appearance of the screen and make the kiosk difficult to use.
ZYTOUCH’s® through-glass sensing capabilities allowed Pro-Tech to specify extra glass thickness and thereby ensure even greater robustness for a longer in-service life with fewer repairs. Projected capacitive technology also requires no periodic recalibration, allowing essentially maintenance-free deployment, and also operates reliably if the user is wearing gloves. This will allow c-store owners to maintain sales levels even during extremely cold weather.
Pro-Tech was able to easily integrate ZYTOUCH® with other kiosk subsystems. In particular, application software development is independent of the touchscreen technology. As well as its robust ZYTOUCH® touchscreen, the DuraView Kiosk features a tough powder-coated metal casing for total protection. Pro-Tech estimates the enhanced sales opportunities now made possible by its rugged kiosk solution will allow c-store owners to recoup their investment within around four months.