Zytronic, a developer of rugged Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT and MPCT) touch sensors, has expanded the capabilities of its touch sensors with the addition of force sensing features. According to the company, this allows touch sensors in ATMs, kiosks, game terminals and interactive video walls to differentiate between a soft and hard touch.

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Force or pressure sensing is becoming available on smartphones and tablets. Zytronic’s approach is based on a measurement of the surface area of an applied touch, which changes the measured capacitive signal levels at the relative touch location on the sensor. This eliminates the need for a piezo-electric or other layers on the glass to measure applied force or pressure.

The Zytronic force sensing feature is offered in a custom firmware release for its ZXY150, ZXY200 and ZXY300 controllers. The feature doesn’t entail any hardware modification, so existing customers could retrofit force sensing by refreshing the firmware and adapting their application to respond appropriately. Zytronic is providing customers using the feature with a new version of the ZyConfig software that supports the feature, together with an output protocol note on how an app developer can access the force sensing data from our controller and use it in their app development.