A 22" version of Zytronic’s highly durable touch sensor product, ZYBRID®, has been chosen by advanced user interface specialist, Sunvision Technology, to create interactive dining tables which offer customers a new, entertaining dining experience at the exclusive Mojo restaurant in Taipei. Interactive functionality is enabled by embedding the ZYBRID® touch sensors inside the restaurant’s tabletops.
The touchscreen operates in conjunction with a computer-controlled projector mounted over each table which presents interactive menus on to the surface. Customers can then select simply by touching the table and by doing so, are able to scroll through the menus to preview and order food. Once food orders have been placed, they are recorded and submitted to the kitchen.
An additional series of interactive services are also available via the touchscreen, enabling customers to engage in instant messaging with diners on other tables, access images and play games while they wait for their orders to arrive. ZYBRID® is based on Zytronic’s proprietary projected capacitive touch sensing technology, where the sensing element comprises an array of 10µm diameter copper capacitors arranged in an XY grid and embedded in a laminated substrate behind a durable front glass panel. This allows the sensor to be completely sealed in to its enclosure, protecting it from liquid ingress. The matrix of capacitors is near invisible when the display is activated.
A unique feature of all PCT™ sensors is the ability to adjust Z axis touch sensitivity via the Zytronic supplied driver, allowing users to operate the touch sensors wearing heavy work gloves or through thick protective glass or polycarbonate overlays. Sunvision’s brief for the Mojo project was to create networked touch tables using this capability to penetrate the 10mm wooden tabletops.
“The economic slowdown challenges restaurants to entice diners out of their homes,” says Morgan Wenn, COO at Sunvision. “Zytronic’s PCT™ allowed us to propose a high-tech, very low maintenance solution enabling a new level of interactivity at the dining table, where hazards such as drink and food spills and scratching caused by cutlery, glasses, or customers’ jewellery would quickly destroy most alternative touchscreen solutions.”
ZYBRID®’s ability to allow accurate and rapid touch detection through a thick overlaying material was central to the success of this project. Using ZYBRID®, rather than other front-face-active touchscreen technologies, has enabled Sunvision to create completely smooth, bezel-free table surfaces, which are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also very convenient for both customers and restaurant owners, as touch performance is unaffected by drink or food spills and tables can be wiped clean easily. The rapid touch response that ZYBRID® offers also gives Mojo’s customers the instant service they expect, and with the sensors embedded within each tabletop, PCT™’s drift-free operation is key to helping minimise maintenance overheads.
Ian Crosby, Zytronic’s Sales and Marketing Director, says, “This is a great example of how touch-based interactivity enables companies to innovate and enhance their customers’ experiences.” He continues, “Only PCT™ combines the unique Z-axis sensitivity with inherent sensor durability, making it the touch technology of choice for applications and environments which demand high resistance to any accidental or deliberate damage, continuous, reliable performance and fast response to user inputs – but must still remain attractive and appealing to customers, even after high levels of use. The success of Sunvision’s interactive tables at Mojo again demonstrates PCT™’s superiority for next-generation user interfaces.”