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Zytronic’s PCT™ Touch Sensors Bring Assured 24/7 Operation To Cruise Liner Passenger Information Systems

Robust, resilient touchscreen solution proves its ability to cope with a life on the high seas

The highly durable touch sensing products developed and manufactured by Zytronic, using its patented Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™), have been selected for another challenging self service application. In a deal secured via its distributor in Italy, Camax, Zytronic touch sensors have been specified by H&S Qualità nel Software for incorporation into large touch displays that it is installing into a fleet of modern cruise liners.

The iFeel display totems enable interaction with the displayed passenger information. Upon boarding the cruise liner, each person receives a card for use over the duration of their stay. Through this they can access the totems dotted around the ship in order to view their personal bills, as well as finding out about the services available onboard, such as the opening hours and locations of restaurants, plus cinema and spa facilities. Passengers can also check on the daily programme of activities for children, fitness classes, movie showings and evening parties.

The graphical user interface (GUI) of these totems has been carefully designed to resemble the icons found on popular smartphones and tablet computers, making them familiar and comfortable for many people to use.

Each totem uses a rugged 42-inch PCT™-based touch sensor, purpose designed for demanding public and industrial environments. This is complemented by the company’s advanced ZXY100 touch controller, which enables fast, smooth performance and gesture recognition.

Zytronic’s innovative PCT™ sensing approach is different from alternative touchscreen technologies, as its active element (an X Y array of near invisible, 10 micron diameter copper capacitors) is laminated behind a glass substrate of variable thickness, which depending on the application, may be also placed behind an additional overlay (glass or plastic). In combination, this thick, toughened front effectively protects the display and touch sensor from the sources of harm that frequently shorten the lifespan of other touchscreens deployed in public areas. These include vandalism, vibrations, accidental scratches from jewellery and watches, drink spillages, etc. The more rugged nature of the PCT™ touch sensors reduces the likelihood of costly maintenance and replacement thereby lowering the running costs for the cruise line and minimising inconvenience to its customer base. “Today’s cruise liners need more sophisticated information systems, so that passengers can make the most of their voyage. H&S is able to provide a visually appealing, highly responsive solution capable of presenting top quality, dynamic multimedia content with an intuitive, easy to use HMI,” states Michele Almi, Business Development Manager at H&S. “By employing PCT™-based touch screens, as opposed to competing solutions that were considered, the iFeel totems’ reliability is assured and overall customer experience enhanced.”

“H&S specified a custom solution made up of large format ZYBRID® enclosed inside a 6 mm thick hardened glass assembly with a printed border and supported by high performance touch controller electronics. It underlines Zytronic’s ability to offer a touch system that exactly matches each client’s specific needs,” Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director at Zytronic comments. “This solution combines the advantages of an extensive working lifespan and an aesthetically pleasing bezel-free implementation, with the ability to deliver dual touch functionality. Furthermore as this solution is not prone to sensor drift, there is no need for recalibration, so risk of operational downtime is virtually eliminated.”

See the iFeel display totems in action