Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tough Touch

Garrick Infanger at Vissumo Touch Systems recently sends me video links introducing the extreme durability of Vissumo force panel technology. In one video clip, a man shots the touch screen with a 9 mm gun but it continues to work.



The reason of the extreme durability can be inferred from the operating principles of the force panel technology. Vissumo's touch screen panel consists of four force sensors and a panel. The sensors are installed near the four corners of the screen and detect the pressure caused  by touching. The touch point is computed by simple mathematical equations (see Vissumo - How It Works). Since panel is just a medium to deliver force to the sensors, any (transparent) material can be used as the overlay panel. Therefore, if you use a bullet-proof glass for the panel, you get bullet-proof touch screen.


Force Panel Technology


However, the story is different for popular resistive and capacitive technologies. Since they need special mechanical structure and materials for the panel, it is not so easy to make really strong touch screen.

Finally, off the topic, I think the force panel technology can be applied to make an entertainment system something like Wii Fit.

Wii Fit

Touch Screen and UI Patents, Feb. 25, 2009

J. Peterson (Cypress), “Method for extending the life of touch screens,” US2008/0231604A1, Sep.25, 2008.

In an embodiment, a signature area and virtual keypad, among other display elements, are displayed in more than one location on a touch screen display. As a result, wear and tear may be strategically distributed evenly across the touch screen, instead of isolated to fixed locations, thus increasing the touch screen's useful lifetime. Display degradation is detected in a novel embodiment from physical parameters that are conventionally used for the touch screen's touch sensitivity. By detecting the display degradation according to display location, display elements can be strategically located to enhance the life of the touch screen.

J. Peterson (Cypress), “Method for extending the life of touch screens,” US2008/0231604A1, Sep.25, 2008.

J. J. Troy, et al. (The Boeing Company), “Systems and Method for Haptics-Enabled Teleoperation of Vehicles and Other Devices,” US20008/0103639A1, May 1, 2008.

Systems and methods are disclosed for haptics-enabled teleoperation of vehicles and other devices, including remotely-controlled air, water, and land-based vehicles, manufacturing robots, and other suitable teleoperable devices. In one embodiment, a system for teleoperation of a vehicle comprises a control component configured to provide position and orientation control with haptic force feedback of the vehicle based on a position measurement of the vehicle and configured to function in a closed-loop feedback manner. In a particular embodiment, the position measurement may include six degree-of-freedom position data provided by a motion capture system to the control and/or haptic I/O components of the application. The system may also use differences in position and/or velocity between the vehicle and a haptic I/O device for feedback control.
J. J. Troy, et al. (The Boeing Company), “Systems and Method for Haptics-Enabled Teleoperation of Vehicles and Other Devices,” US20008/0103639A1, May 1, 2008.

A. M. Platzer, et al. (Apple), “Swapping User-Interface Objects by Drag-and-Drop Finger Gestures on a Touch Screen Display,” WO/2008/086305, Jul. 17, 2008.

A portable multifunction device (100) displays a first user interface object (4350) and a second user interface object (4310) on a touch screen display (112). Upon detecting a finger-down event (4346-2) at the first user interface object (4350) and one or more finger-dragging events (4365) on the touch screen display (112), the device (100) moves the first user interface object (4350) on the touch screen display (112) along a path determined by the finger-dragging events (4365) until the. first user interface object (4350) at least in part overlaps the second user interface object (4310). Upon detecting a finger-up event (4346-3) at the second user interface object (4310), the device (100) visually replaces the second user interface object (4310) with the first user interface object (4350).
A. M. Platzer, et al. (Apple), “Swapping User-Interface Objects by Drag-and-Drop Finger Gestures on a Touch Screen Display,” WO/2008/086305, Jul. 17, 2008.

Technical Paper: Touch Sensor Controller Technology and Application Trends

Fujitsu Microelectronics, TechOnline | Touch Sensor Controller Technology and Application Trends, techonline: 2009.

This technology backgrounder profiles the technologies used in touch-sensor controllers and explains the choices available for getting the best results from various types of touch-based user interfaces—a useful reference for anyone interested in using touch-sensor technology. Following this reference information is an in-depth look at how specific characteristics of Fujitsu touch-sensor controllers can optimize user interfaces. From mobile entertainment devices to white goods, touch sensors can be configured to deliver exactly the right user experience.

This technical reports briefly illustrates basic principles of capacitive touch sensors. The table below is helpful for the design of capacitive touch interfaces. The dielectric constant used in touch user interfaces are one important factor affecting the performance of the final system.

Dielectric Constant

Dielectric Constants of Materials

See also:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three technical articles about Apple iPhone

These three articles are a little outdated, but introduced here for reference purpose.

Apple patents reveal what's behind the touchscreen, 07/09/2007

All public teardowns have identified Balda, which produces high-tech assemblies from high-performance plastics and electronic components at its headquarters in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, as the supplier of the touchscreen display module for the iPhone. But a closer look reveals that Balda's Taiwan-based partner, TPK Holding, with which Balda formed a joint venture to get into touchscreen production, is really behind the module.

Under the Hood: Inside the Apple iPhone, 07/01/2007

The iPhone's debut was immediately met with cheap clones designed to capitalize upon the hype. Semiconductor Insights's team went inside two of those clones and was surprised at first by how bad they were, but then later by how close they came to emulating—and possibly surpassing—the original

Under the Hood update: Software at heart of iPhone's simplicity, 07/01/2007

Analysts at Portelligent did a quick overnight teardown of the Apple iPhone and uncovered yet more semiconductor design wins, while succumbing to an unusually high level of giddiness over the simplicity and grace of the device and its software-enabled user interface.

White Paper: Touch Screen Consumer Electronics

D. Vallis, Touch Screen Consumer Electronics, Cypress Semiconductor, Jun. 2008.

This white paper discusses the evolution of portable consumer electronics from the Electronic Organizer to Apple's iPhone. Projected capacitive touchscreens are here to stay for portable consumer electronics. Forecasts for the growth of projected capacitive touchscreens have been increasing each year since 2006, supported by the market success of devices using this technology. The 2008 Christmas season will doubtless reveal many new products from major manufactures.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Multi-Paper Interaction on Tabletop Interface

on the fly @ minimum interface from Hisato Ogata on Vimeo.

Source: on the fly - a tangible multitouch display

See also:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gesturetek’s Surface Computing Demo

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lexus RX Comes with 'Remote Touch' Haptic Interface

Remote Touch

From Tech-On!

The "Remote Touch," an HMI (human machine interface) for the car navigation system equipped in the "Lexus RX" released by Toyota Motor Corp, was developed by Denso Corp


Trying out the Lexus Remote Touch System

See also:

New Windows Touch on Glass Surface

It is a short introductory video on MS Surface and Jeff Han’s multi-touch display.


Apple's Multi-Touch Designer Describes His Inspiration, More to Come?


Wayne Westerman and John Elias are the two engineers who are responsible for much of Apple's multi-touch technology found in the iPhone and notebook trackpads. Westerman and Elias originally founded a company called Fingerworks in 1998 and developed a number of multi-touch input devices including keyboards and touch-pads. Apple then acquired Fingerworks in 2005 and Westerman has been a senior engineer at Apple since. Many of the multi-touch patents coming out of Apple have since credited Westerman as the lead inventor.

See also :

How close is the future of surface computing for CAD/PLM?

From Daily PLM Think Tank

I think everybody likes cool presentations … especially when they are about surface computing. So, coincidentally, I had the chance to see a few references and demos of surface computing in the context of our industry. I think that these fascinating shows may inspire you to think further about how we can use surface computing.

Multi-Touch Air Hockey Table

Source: Geeks are sexy

Touch Screen Panel Key Patent Analysis


Patent Trend Analysis by Detailed Fields

Link: Touch Screen Panel Key Patent Analysis, DisplayBank

The touch screen panel industry repeatedly achieved quantitative growths to gradually worsen competitions between leading makers and late entrants. Moreover, patents regarding the touch screen panel related technology have great effects on the market. Therefore, Displaybank analyzed the touch panel related technology patents.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stanum’s new multi-touch framework and my experience with resistive multi-touch

At the Mobile World Congress, Stantum technologies announced a new multi-touch software framework, called TouchPark. TouchPark is designed to run on popular operating systems (Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Android) and microcontrollers (TI Zoom, Freescale i.MX, etc.).

Monday, February 16, 2009

An opinion about multi touch war


Multi-touch DIY and Programming

Concept Designs


  • Sony Ericsson unveils Idou concept phone

  • Sunday, February 15, 2009

    MIT Media Lab: Siftables

    Link: Siftables – the coolest of NUI applications
    See also:

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Multitouch blogs

    I found an interesting blog Multitouch blogs sponsored by ideum and NUI. Its slogan is “A directory and aggregator of multi-touch news sites, blogs, and podcasts”.

    Site: Multitouch blogs

    Resources for Multi-touch in Windows 7


    Szymon Kobalczyk posted a list of resources for Window 7 multi-touch programming

    Four Finger Multitouch on Old Macbook Pros and Airs

    Press Release

    DIY & Programming

    Concept Designs


    Interactive Display 2009

    Interactive Displays 2009

    The conference and exhibit will take place April 21 – 23, 2009 at the Hilton San Jose, in San Jose, California.

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    Capacitive Touch


    This small article by Keith at Notes from the Lab is a good summary on capacitive touch sensing technology. Link: Capacitive Touch.

    Cubtile: Multitouch Cube for 3D Interaction


    See Also:

    Z-Agon: A Six Faced Video Player

    Z-Agon: A Six Faced Video Player

    Fentix Cube

    Fentix Cube


    Toshiba Shows Off Die-Shaped Media Server

    Rubik's TouchCube

    Rubik’s TouchCube coming your way

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Touch screen phones at MWC 2009


    Samsung TouchWiz UI image

    Research & DIY

    Android Multi Touch

    Concept Designs

    Samsung BRIX
    intelligent concept phone-leaked pictures

    Sunday, February 8, 2009


    Force, Pressure, and Touch -
    Force pressure touch technology: FSR sensor, electronics, firmware and software
    Design Service Low Cost Pressure Mapping
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