- This unique technology developed by Alps Alpine aims to prevent the spread of human-to-human contamination while using touch screen devices
- It is based on detection of hand motion using capacitive sensors at a certain distance
Due to a significant increase in the use of digitally interactive technologies, the use of touch panels for input and control will continue to grow. However, its implementation in many public utility machines including ATMs and ticket vending machines, which are used by hundreds of people in a single day, can become a source for the spread of germs from one person to the next.
Therefore, Alps Alpine has presented a new innovative solution in the form of a touchless control panel for situations when touching an electronic screen is undesirable or not possible. This is extremely beneficial in medical settings and public facilities in preventing the spread of communicable diseases. Not only that, but it can also lead to the replacement of switches with touch panels as the input and control technology for a wide range of devices – smartphones, car navigation systems, digital home appliances, security equipment and digital writing pads for ordering at a restaurant, front desk operations at public facilities, and recording of clinical notes by medical professionals. The touchless control panel, while incorporating the advantages of touch panels, will greatly reduce any such uneasiness or aversion by providing safe and easy control.
The way this technology works is relatively similar to that of a touch-based control panel. Firstly, an original high-sensitivity capacitive sensor detects the approach of a hand in a series of steps. Secondly, the presence of a hand is detected within 10 centimetres from the panel, then within 5 centimetres and then the positions of fingers within 3 centimetres. The detected data is rapidly processed with the help of an algorithm for realising diverse forms of control based on the positions and gestures made by hands and fingers.
Earlier this year, a demo related to the regulation of air conditioner temperature and adjustment of room lighting using a touchless control panel was showcased by Alps Alpine at CES, Las Vegas. The response received largely positive. On that basis, the company is currently looking forward to the commercialisation of technology around 2021.