At Embedded World Toshiba Electronics Europe previewed a new technology that is set to broaden the spread of multi-point touchscreens in industrial and medical applications.
The company demonstrated a system that uses patent-pending algorithm to
combine the benefits of resistive and capacitive touch sensors while
overcoming limitations associated with each of these technologies.
Smartphones generally employ capacitive touchscreens that can recognise
dual-touch gestures, such as pinch/zoom, but are unable to function with a
pen, stylus or gloved hand. Resistive touchscreens, conversely, can accept
pen, stylus and gloved inputs but do not typically support multi-touch.
Resistive touchscreens cost significantly less than their capacitive
equivalents, a factor that is particularly significant if touch technology
is to migrate from its current bastion in high value portable consumer
devices to the more cost-sensitive industrial marketplace.
Toshiba's demonstration showed a resistive touchscreen that, as well as
accepting the usual pen, stylus and gloved inputs, can also interpret
multi-touch gestures. The Resistive Touch Technology Demonstrator
comprised an ARM9 development board front end for the touchpad and display
coupled with an add-on PCB that amplifies the touch stimulus and
calculates position and movement.
The technology is currently under development within Toshiba and it is
planned for introduction later in the year.