Peratech’s “3D multi-touch” matrix sensors deliver next-generation HMI experience in Automotive cockpits

 Opaque QTC® force touch sensors unlock a new generation of HMI possibilities for automotive designers

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Opaque QTC® force touch sensors 

Peratech, innovators in force touch technology, has announced that, in response to increasing customer enquiries from the automotive industry, it has expanded resources in its UK headquarters to service demand for its multi-touch and single-touch solutions in automotive electronics applications.

Peratech’s Opaque QTC® force touch sensors unlock a new generation of HMI possibilities for automotive designers and engineers. The slimline, infinitely customisable sensor system and complementary firmware address the failings in capacitive sensing whilst enabling next generation design themes, user experience, packaging benefits, and above all safety.

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QTC-based sensors can be intergrated under a wide range of top surfaces such as plastics, rubbers, wood, leather, metals, and even glass. They can also be deployed under flexible and rigid displays. With a wide force-sensing range and electronically-configurable force thresholds, QTC-based sensors eliminate false touches associated with capacitive sensors.  Said Neil Jarvie, Peratech’s VP of Global Sales, “We’re solving the customer complaint issues around capacitive technology while meeting the strong customer desire for a smart touch experience.”

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Pressure sensor technology

Peratech matrix sensors provide “3D Multi-Touch” – the ability to track multiple touches for position (X, Y) and independent pressure (Z) readings for each touch simultaneously. This seamless addition of z-axis pressure intelligence unlocks a whole new arena of user experience and design choices, while enabling designers to reduce “button count” and complication from the centre stack, steering wheel and other cockpit surfaces.

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“Replace the top surface of buttons with a display, and you have a Human Machine Interface (HMI) that is reconfigurable on the fly,” added Jarvie. “Because Peratech sensors aren’t affected by the electromagnetic interference of a display, we can make a display panel showing switches, sliders and knobs that actually work.”

“We’ve tested our QTC-based sensors through cycles of -40 to +100 degrees Celsius,” added Jarvie, “as this is the operational temperature range that the automotive industry requires.  During our testing, we found the performance of our QTC® material met or exceeded the operational requirements in those high and low-temperature conditions.  This rugged reliability combined with the true-pressure sensing that capacitive solutions cannot sense, are the key differentiators that have resulted in design wins for our technology with Tier 1 automotive companies.”

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Explained Jarvie, “The requirement for a smart force touch display panel — first and foremost — is that is always works.  You can’t promise passengers and drivers a more functional, streamlined, pleasurable driving experience if you don’t have that.  Because our QTC technology turns the actual, physical touch, grip, or swipe into electronic intelligence, we can deliver on that promise.” 

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  • Multi force 3D touch sensing X, Y, & Z
  • Low power consumption at rest
  • Multi touch and multi force gestures possible
  • Configurable keypad with sliders scroll wheels etc.
  • Minimal RFI interference, strong signal to noise ratio
  • Glove finger, passive stylus, finger nail, wet operation
  • Force interpolation reduces required sensor lines
  • Works under multiple materials
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  • Trackpads, under-display touch
  • Large format multi-touch surfaces

Focus on hardware

The company

Peratech Holdco Ltd. is a privately held company with 20 employees based in Richmond, North Yorkshire.  It is currently working with a number of key technology clients who are implementing QTC sensing technology within their own products.  The company is an excellent example of British innovation bringing in global revenue.  QTC technology is protected by numerous worldwide patents and has a wide range of applications.  From robotics to automotive and from touch screens to consumer electrical products, the product has been integrated into over a million products with companies around the world.  Peratech’s multi-award winning QTC nanotechnology received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in November 2012.


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