Hitachi's Projected Capacitive Touch Panel Allows Input by Insulating Materials

Aug 30, 2010
Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics
Inputting with the synthetic-resin pen
Inputting with the synthetic-resin pen
[Click to enlarge image]
Inputting with fingers
Inputting with fingers
[Click to enlarge image]

Hitachi Displays Ltd developed a projected capacitive touch panel that enables to input information by using a synthetic-resin pen or gloves without touching it by hand.

The new touch panel allows a variety of input means such as a multi-touch function for controlling the panel by using multiple fingers, a function to input small characters by using a synthetic-resin pen and a function to operate the panel while wearing gloves in a cold region.

Projected capacitive touch panels are used for the iPad, the iPhone and other mobile devices that feature fast and smooth operation. But, in general, projected capacitive touch panels are incapable of detecting insulating materials.

This time, Hitachi Displays enabled the touch panel to seamlessly detect both conductive materials and insulating materials by converting input information to capacitance. And a normal controller chip can be used for the detection.

When the diameter of the tip of a synthetic-resin pen is 0.8mm, the margin of error in detecting coordinates is ±0.5mm (detection accuracy: ±1.0%). The new projected capacitive touch panel can also detect other insulating materials including natural leather, artificial leather, wool and artificial fiber.

Hitachi Displays plans to exhibit the touch panel at Ceatec Japan 2010, a trade show that will take place from Oct 5 to 9, 2010, in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.