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Multitouch screens target embedded devices

Jul 26, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Fujitsu announced resistive multitouch screens that may be operated either via fingers or a stylus. To be offered in sizes ranging from 5.6 to 12.1 inches, the devices will target POS (point of sale), kiosk, and banking systems.

According to Fujitsu, its resistive multi-input panels can process single-tap and multitouch input from nearly any object using varying pressure. For example, they may be operated via standard pens, gloved fingers, the edge of a credit card, or a light finger touch, the company says.

Fujitsu claims the screens, which will be offered in sizes from 5.6 to 12.1 inches, allow finger and stylus actions to be performed simultaneously. Therefore, it's said, the devices will provide accurate handwriting input via stylus, while also enabling two-finger manipulation such as pinch, push, rotate and scroll functionality, for zooming or rotating pictures.

It's said the multi-input panels follow "exceptional growth" in the use of touch panels, and will allow public facilities such as POS systems, kiosks, and ATMs to be upgraded in line with customer expectations. The panels will offer high resolution, high accuracy, low power consumption, and the ability to register finger or stylus input even when they're wet, Fujitsu adds.

In its release, Fujitsu mentions only Windows 7 compatibility, and claims to be "the first manufacturer to obtain Windows 7 logo certification for a resistive multi-input touch panel." However, considering the range of support for screen sizes down to 5.6 inches, it would be reasonable to think that Fujitsu would also make the technology available for embedded operating systems such as Android, Linux, and Windows Embedded Standard 7. The company does say that controller boards and ICs with a USB interface are readily available to facilitate panel integration.

With their apparent ability to react to just two touches at once, Fujitsu's new displays are not the most ambitious spin on resistive technology we've encountered. That accolade is reserved for the PMatrix technology announced by the French company Stantum in January: This allows resistive screens to react to as many as ten simultaneous finger touches as well as a stylus, the company claimed at the time. PMatrix was said to be scheduled for shipment in 2011.

Meanwhile, capacitive screens may be operated via pens too, provided that the user is armed with a special stylus such as the $15 Pogo Sketch or another model being sold by HTC. However, it's much more likely that customers trying to use an ATM or POS device would come armed with "the edge of a credit card," as Fujitsu suggests.

Further information

Fujitsu did not provide pricing or availability information for its multi-input resistive touchscreens.

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