LCD Touch Panel Technology of the Future

The integration of user interfaces, touch screens, combined with LCD displays is becoming increasingly popular. It is estimated that touch screen revenue will reach $16 billion in 2012, and nearly double in six years, reaching $31.9 billion by 2018. Like it or not LCDs with touch panels are here to stay.

Much of this demand is driven by the cell phone and tablet market, but is expanding into other areas such as laptop computers, HVAC, Automotive, Home automation and Security systems.

LCD Touch panel technology is not limited to older technologies such as resistive and capacitive; but has moved into new areas that integrate IR and acoustic waves.

LCD Touch Panels that identify the user

But what does the future of LCD touch panels hold? One new touch panel technology makes use of a capacitive sensor system with the ability to differentiate between users.

A team of researchers working at Disney Research, yes Mickey Mouse, is funding research on Human-Computer Interactions. Developers are making use of a technique called swept frequency capacitive sensing. The basic idea is that the interface measures the impedance of each user, with respect to ground, through a range of AC frequencies. The system is then able to differentiate which user is making contact with the touch panel.

Possible applications

Although this technology is not yet in production, the uses of it could be integrated into such industries as access control, time and attendance, multi-player games and even automotive.

One idea would be to integrate the new technology into your company’s software. The program would contain logic able to identify the user through the touch screen. It would then allow each user specific access to specific menus and options. The warehouse person could access shipping and receiving menus only, while accounting would access aging reports, chart of accounts and checking balances. The controller or owner of the company would have full access to all menus. One advantage of this is the elimination of passwords.

The automotive industry could allow user preferences to be unique to each driver. When driver “A” touches the color monitor located on the dashboard; the automobile would automatically adjust radio station selections, dashboard brightness and blue tooth settings that are unique to driver “A”. The automobile’s configuration would change to meet the needs of driver B or C as soon as the touch screen identifies the new driver.

With the release of Windows 8 and its ability to interface with touch panel technology, home computers could be configured to allow limited access to specific programs and web pages for children and full unlimited access for adults.

Although this option is still in the future, there may be applications in your industry that would benefit from the ability to identify which user is accessing the touch panel.

At the current time we offer a variety of different interfaces, including resistive, Q-Touch and multi-touch capacitive touch screens.

Custom LCD’s with custom Touch Panels

It is possible to design and build a custom LCD integrated with a custom touch panel. Possible options would include size of touch screen, type of controller and anti-glare finishes.

The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) would also be able to select a protective material to allow users to use alcohol and other cleaning materials.