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Zytronic to debut invisible power transfer across glass and contactless touch sensor at Digital Signage Japan

During DSJ 2021, Masami Saito, Zytronic’s Business Development Manager in Japan, will demonstrate two new proprietary technologies that aim to disrupt and enhance the industrial design, architecture, arts and culture, and lighting sectors.

The first demonstration is an innovative method of delivering power through glass invisibly. Called ElectroglaZ™, this patent-pending technology opens up new opportunities for low-power devices and applications without using wires or cables.

Drawing on Zytronic’s half-century of experience in precision glass lamination and machining, the technology is a bespoke, optically clear bonding of 2 or more highly conductive yet completely transparent glass panels. This arrangement allows the transfer of power across the inner conductive coatings within the insulated surfaces of the laminate. To tap into the power, small apertures, typically 30 to 100mm, are machined into the laminated glass where the customer’s connection and electrical device or assembly fits and connects to the positive and negatively charged inner coatings. A 1mm wide printed conductive busbar around the perimeter of the glass is applied to enable the connection of an external power supply into the laminate.

“ElectroglaZ™ can be used to invisibly power a near-limitless variety of low power, passive electronic and electromechanical devices embedded within a glass panel,” says Mr. Saito. “Potential applications include LED-lit display cases and shelving units for museums, art galleries and high-end retail stores.”

ElectroglaZ™ can also deliver low power (sub 50V / 4A) to USB sockets, induction charging pads, motors, fans, security cameras and sensors, air monitoring units in HVAC systems and small displays. Industrial designers may also combine it with Zytronic’s patented multitouch projected capacitive technology (MPCT™) to add multi-user touch interactivity and tangible object recognition in ’‘smart’ tables and other design-led furniture.

To bring a third dimension to touch, Zytronic’s ZyBrid® hover contactless sensing technology introduces another option, detecting user interactions from over 30mm away above the surface of the glass. This capability is especially relevant in the COVID-19 world we now find ourselves with associated heightened public anxiety regarding the use of self-service touchscreens. Zytronic’s second demonstration unit, which will be on show at DSJ for the first time, simulates an elevator touchscreen control panel.

“Elevator buttons are high usage touchpoints,” says Mr Saito. “Traditional panels generally rely upon mechanical buttons that are difficult to clean and can therefore harbour microbes creating a risk and concern for users. By combining a display overlaid with a completely flat, easy to clean glass ZyBrid® hover touch sensor, this hygiene problem is solved, and, when operating in ‘hover’ touch mode, there is absolutely no need to come into physical contact with the control surface.”

Operation can be switched between direct touch or contactless mode as required. In direct touch mode, the glass sensor overlay can be quickly and hygienically cleaned. In ‘hover’ mode, user interactions can be detected 30mm or more away from the surface of the glass. The projected capacitive or PCAP touch technology used in the ZyBrid® hover sensor only responds to a finger (or conductive stylus), even when wearing thick work gloves, yet is insensitive to ‘false’ or accidental touches, such as a sleeve, tie, or handbag, making it ideal for such an application.

Mr. Saito will be at the Zytronic stand (#5S11) throughout the exhibition; if you would like to make an appointment, please email: