Zytronic hover technology offers touch-free sensors

Touch technology innovator Zytronic has released a contactless sensing option that can detect user interactions up to 30mm away from the surface of the glass. Based upon the company’s fully customisable ZyBrid touch sensors, and developed at its UK R&D and manufacturing facility, ZyBrid hover has been designed to assist manufacturers of self-service kiosks in their efforts to reassure customers nervous about touching publicly used surfaces.

ZyBrid hover works in conjunction with Zytronic’s ZXY500™ projected capacitive (PCAP) controller, which uses proprietary firmware to boost sensitivity levels far beyond what is normally possible. The multi-touch sensor can recognise basic gestures (such as zooms, pinches, and swipes) even when the user is wearing thick gloves. It can also be set to work in standard touch mode, of course, with direct user contact to the surface of the touchscreen.

“Current PCAP-based contactless technologies typically only support maximum distances of about 10mm from the surface of the screen, and generally cannot detect a touch from a gloved hand,” explains Dr Andrew Morrison, technical director at Zytronic. “This is because they rely on either ITO or a metal mesh to create the projected capacitive matrix on the rear of the sensor – and both have a relatively low conductivity. In contrast, for ZyBrid hover, we deposit a proprietary copper matrix pattern on the rear of our touch sensors, and together with our latest ZXY500™ controller and custom firmware, allows us to detect changes in the transferred energy from further than ever before. This means that touch events can be registered at least 30mm away from the surface of the screen, even from a gloved hand.”

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