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Unique capabilities of Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™) Touch Sensors Reflected in Innovative Interactive Mirror

01 January 2010

Zytronic’s 15.6-inch PCT-based ZYBRID touch sensors are being used to bring interactive functionality to the ViViMirror, a new innovation developed by Taiwan-based specialist, Sunvision Technology.

The ViViMirror combines an embedded PC, TFT-LCD, and the ZYBRID touchscreen (situated behind optically coated glass) to create a user interface that is transparent whilst the PC is operating, but presents a highly reflective surface – similar to a conventional mirror - when not in use. ZYBRID enabled Sunvision to localise touch capabilities in the region of the display, without requiring a bezel structure usually necessary with other touchscreen technologies, such as infrared or surface acoustic wave. This provides the flexibility to create interactive mirrors in a wide range of sizes, presenting a completely smooth front surface even when the display/touchscreen assembly occupies only a part of the mirror’s total area.

Suitable for use in homes or hotel rooms, the ViViMirror provides access to web applications, viewing of data from a personal network, adjustment of heating/ventilation settings, or control of intruder alarm systems. It is also likely to see widespread use within the retail sector, allowing customers to check clothes or accessory options at the point of sale or in the fitting room.

Zytronic’s patented PCT comprises a matrix of 10µm diameter copper capacitors arranged in an XY grid, embedded behind a highly durable glass laminated substrate. This eliminates direct contact with the user and offers unrivalled durability and protection against any damage. The field generated is sensitive enough to operate through a thick overlay, such as the 3mm non–conductive, optically coated glass of the ViViMirror. The assembly can also be completely sealed to withstand environments where mirrors may become wet due to splashes of water or condensation. At one quarter the diameter of a human hair, the capacitors are near invisible and have no impact on light transmitted from the powered display. This allowed Sunvision to use ZYBRID while retaining the full reflective/transparent properties of its specially selected two-way glass.

“PCT’s unique ability to function through an overlay material, in this case mirrored glass, coupled with ZYBRID’s customisation capability and drift-free performance, together with excellent local project support, have been central to enabling us to deliver this significant innovation,” says Morgan Wen, COO at Sunvision. “ViViMirror allows customers to stylishly conceal a full function touch display until the moment it is required and is already generating high levels of interest from the home appliance and retail markets. The product can be customised depending upon the application and additional functionality including RFID and finger print recognition can even be incorporated into the system.”

Ian Crosby, Zytronic’s Sales and Marketing Director, adds, “ViViMirror is yet another creative use of ZYBRID’s inimitable capabilities, delivering well-deserved commercial success for Sunvision. This exciting development clearly demonstrates how Zytronic’s PCT touch sensors enable visionary developers to create stunning new products, providing a combination of sleek styling and advanced capabilities that are simply not achievable using alternative touchscreen technologies.”