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Design touch sensor for mobile devices

Posted: 13 Apr 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:touchscreen controllers  sensors  capacitance-detection 

New consumer products such as smartphones have helped make touchscreen controllers popular. Touch sensors provide a convenient way to control virtually any type of device. Touch sensor controllers now offer versatile performance choices and formats such as sliders and proximity sensors. Also, advances in touch sensor technology are making sensor-driven interfaces easier to implement, more intuitive, and simpler for end users.

Most touch sensor controllers work by detecting the change in capacitance that occurs when something or someone approaches or touches the sensor's conductive metal pad. As conductive objects (such as a finger) move in proximity to the sensor, they alter the electrical field lines of the capacitive sensor and change the capacitance that is measured by the control circuitry.

Industrial applications have used this capacitance-detection technique for many years to measure liquid levels, humidity, and material composition. From these applications, the technology was adapted for human-to-machine interfaces.

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