Brighter touch screens ignore errors

Touch screens are a favourite way of interfacing the public or workers on the shopfloor to computer systems. One difficulty is that touch screen overlays usually absorb about 20% of the light.

Brighter touch screens ignore errors
Problem: If the underlying screen technology is LCD, the original light source is already heavily absorbed by the liquid crystals, and CRTs are considerably less light efficient than Thomas Edison’s original experiment lamp.
There can be an additional problem, especially with inclined screens at waist height, in that they sometimes respond to knuckles or hand resting on the panel.

Solution: A company in Taiwan has developed a range of products with 97% light transmission through the touchscreen. The technology is called XGT, or eXtra Glass Technology. It uses conductive tracks floated into the glass, and a capacitative sensing method. The brand name is ETurboTouch, which also includes an alternative, but more light absorbing resistive technology.
For those concerned about accidental finger or knuckle contact, the same company also offers a Turbo Pen technology. This features a controller able to distinguish between the pen and other items.

Application: The technology is aimed squarely at the gaming market, although the UK vendors, BF Group, says it is appropriate for other uses including the video screens it supplies for installation in the back of police cars to show errant motorists the outcome of their behaviour. TS

Tom Shelley

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