12/19/2014

Conti’s Low-Cost Infrared Display Offers Touchscreen Features

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Continental's infrared screen Continental AG is developing a lower-cost infrared alternative to capacitive touchscreens that provides the same ability to swipe, zoom and pinch images.

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Continental's infrared screen

Continental AG is developing a lower-cost infrared alternative to capacitive touchscreens that provides the same ability to swipe, zoom and pinch images.

The system uses arrays of LEDs and photodiodes on the edges of the screen to shine an invisible grid across its face of the device. The resulting "infrared curtain" can then detect the position and motion of one or more fingers near the screen.

Three years ago Conti showed how an earlier iteration of the technology could be used to turn any surface in a car's interior into a user interface. The company says the current system is significantly more sensitive to finger movements.

Conti points out that, unlike capacitive touchscreens, an infrared curtain works when the operator is wearing gloves. The company says its technology will be ready for high-volume production in 2017.