UltraSense, a company that is just emerging from stealth mode, is launching a touch user interface that can be embedded into just about any material, including plastic, metal, glass, and wood. The obvious immediate applications are smart phones, automotive,white goods, and other consumer devices.
The TouchPoint sensor, which is now sampling, measures 1.4x2.4x0.49 mm, and is immune to sensing through moisture, dirt, oils, and lotions. Unlike competing technologies, including strain gauge, force touch, and surface acoustic wave solutions that have industrial and mechanical design, this sensor offers a very simple integration process and a production calibration that occurs in seconds.
With this technology, OEMs can remove mechanical buttons from their systems. In a handset or other consumer devices, one-hand operation is more feasible. In an automotive application, virtual buttons can be embedded into the steering wheel and door panels with a sleek look.
The TouchPoint family of sensors consume microamps of current in always-on mode and can operate independently of a product’s host processor with all the algorithm processing embedded in the sensor. Hence, it can be used as a standalone power button using wake-on-touch sensing.
For applications where low power consumption is not required, sensors can include large drivers with higher operating voltages to transmit the ultrasound beam through very thick materials like solid metals. The transducer can also be shut off and the sensor used to drive piezo materials to cost-effectively support large touch sensing areas, like a mousepad in a laptop or trackpad in an automobile center console.
For more information, visit www.ultrasensesys.com/
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