Large Format MPCT™ sensor forms foundation of interactivity in Touchwindow’s latest product
Recognized as the leading manufacturer of rugged, scalable touch sensing technology for self service systems, Zytronic announces that its latest multi-touch product has been chosen by Italian touch interactivity innovator Touchwindow for inclusion in its latest offering. Initiated through longstanding distributor CAMAX, Zytronic’s multi-touch projected capacitive touch sensors (MPCT™) are now being incorporated into an elegant, low-profile touch table solution.
The Touchwindow interactive table is aimed at use in hotel lobbies, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, waiting rooms and airport VIP lounges. It supports a wide variety of both entertainment and business-related activities, such as watching film clips, exploring interactive maps, annotating documents, reading newspapers/magazines, and writing, making video calls or browsing the Internet via the multi-touch enabled interface. The table is compatible with Windows operating systems - with users able to plug in USB memory sticks, so they can use the table’s large HD display to work on files and documents without the need for laptops or tablets. The table utilizes Touchwindow’s own proprietary multi-touch software, Touchviewer, which has been specially adapted to meet the particular needs of the leisure and hospitality sectors. Through this users can manage and share their media content in a highly intuitive manner. User-friendly navigation means they can quickly browse various menus in order to quickly select any topics that prove of interest.
When the development process was embarked upon, it was stipulated that the table had to possess a sleek, aesthetically pleasing design, which would complement other furniture found within the target environment. Its touch response had to be fast, smooth and extremely natural, with the ability to recognise and react to gestures such as swipes, drag/drops, page flicks, zooms, etc. To achieve this, each table has been fitted with a 46-inch ZYBRID sensor using Zytronic’s patent pending MPCT™ multi-touch technology. Each touch sensor is linked to a ZXY200 multi-touch controller capable of reporting up to 40 independent simultaneous touch points. To create a flat, bezel free all-glass fronted design suitable for unattended public use in strongly lit areas, Zytronic manufacture the screens with an integrated printed black border using thick, thermally toughened anti-glare glass.
Most large format multi-touch technologies are unsuitable for touch table applications. Optical touch detection based on cameras or infrared (IR) touch sensing has the major disadvantage of requiring a bezel around the perimeter of the screen to house the optoelectronics. The upstanding plastic frame detracts from the appearance of the table, as well being vulnerable to potential damage, whether it is of an accidental or deliberate nature, and dirt accumulation. Furthermore such optical solutions are also very prone to false touches, as users lean over the surface, spill liquids or place objects upon it.
The MPCT touch sensor structure consists of a matrix of micro-fine (only 10µm thick) copper capacitors fashioned into intricate patterns to deliver high touch resolution. This matrix embedded into a laminated substrate with a thick, toughened glass front, which shields it from the various forms of mechanical stress that can be present in the external environment including scratches, impacts and extreme temperatures, as well as drink spillages and exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals.
The durability of Zytronic’s MPCT sensors is matched by their performance and functionality. The sensor only reacts to the presence of a finger (gloved or ungloved) or a conductive stylus, and will not react to inanimate objects such as ties, sleeves brushing the surface or cups and papers placed on the screen. Furthermore, sophisticated ‘palm rejection’ firmware within the ZXY200 controller eliminates potential false touches caused by users accidentally leaning the touchscreen with hands, elbows, etc.
“As catching the eye of potential users was crucial, one of the key features of this multi-touch table which needed to be addressed was ensuring that the interactive glass covered the entire table top, with no edges or slots. Thus the overall visual effect would not in any way be compromised,” states Andrea Guerra, International Sales Manager for Touchwindow. “At the same time no concessions could be made on system durability. It soon became clear to us that Zytronic was the only credible choice.”
“Touchwindow’s interactive touch table allows a wide range of content sharing activities between multiple users via instinctive, fluid hand movements,” Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director of Zytronic, adds. “Applications like this show the sort of exciting, dynamic user experiences that can be realized on large form factor touchscreens if the right sensing solution is specified. MPCT combines a great looking interface with the fast, accurate performance that users of modern touch enabled consumer electronic devices now expect together with a rugged, reliable solution that is proven in self-service applications.”