TOUCHLESS User Interfaces

TouchNetix TOUCHLESS User Interface Technology

The recently introduced aXiom capacitive touchscreen IC has been further developed to enable its use in a highly reliable TOUCHLESS User Interface. This can be achieved on a standard TouchNetix touchscreen with NO external electrodes needed. By hovering their finger 5-6cm above the surface the user can interact using ‘airTouch’ and ‘airTap’ with the touchscreen in a hygienic way while seamlessly retaining the option to touch the surface if needed.

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Why TOUCHLESS is Interesting

TOUCHLESS user interfaces have long been known and used but it has become much more interesting for a user to be able to interact with a display without actually touching it. Whether its avoiding contamination in a hospital operating theatre or meat processing factory or a consumer ordering lunch in a fast food outlet or buying train tickets, the global COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the usefulness of a TOUCHLESS UI.

Most TOUCHLESS UI’s rely on the use of a computer vision or IR projector based systems combined with AI to determine the users intent in the Far-Field – these systems can work well for a system where the user stands a short distance away from the system and uses simple gestures to interact.

There is also interest in a UI which lets the user interact at a more detailed and focussed level in the Near-Field – as they would with a traditional capacitive touchscreen – but without actually contacting the surface of the screen. Capacitive touchscreens have always been able to detect the users finger but have never been sufficiently sensitive, are not able to measure uniformly across the surface or are not sufficiently reliable to build a successful UI for most application or as an additional option to the traditional touch UI.


aXiom’s ultra-high sensitivity solves the problems to enable TOUCHLESS UI

The aXiom IC was designed from the ground up to meet the rigorous requirements of reliable ‘Hover’ and ‘Proximity’ measurements in challenging environments.

  • 80dB SNR to reliably detect and classify approaching finger position
  • NO extra edge sensor electrodes – uses the standard touchscreen sensor, thus low system cost
  • Works through thick front lenses
  • Automatically discriminates between user Hovering and Touching
  • Recognises ‘airTouch’ and ‘airTap’ gestures for simple identification of user intent
  • Works within a defined air-Box outside touchscreen, thus avoiding longer distance issues that the more expensive IR and optical systems have
  • Tolerant of extreme EMC conditions
  • Ultra low emissions
  • Works with gloved hands
  • Cost effective – no additional hardware needed



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