Aito raises €2m for piezo sensors
The funding came from Aito’s existing investor INKEF Capital iAmsterdam in the Netherlands, and a new investor, Sirius EcoTech Fund Düsseldorf, a German venture capital fund investing in high growth technology companies. The investment allows Aito to accelerate the global commercial rollout of its touch solutions.
Aito is building its products and solutions based on Software Enhanced Piezo technology, SEP, developed at its R&D labs in Helsinki, Finland. This breakthrough in piezoelectric sensing technology, uses the best properties of piezoelectricity in combination with highly advanced control software to create a new touch technology. No other touch controller achieves the same level of design freedom, reliability, simple implementation, and low cost as the AitoChip.
With the AitoChip, touch panel overlays can be designed from any material: glass, metal, plastic, wood, fabric or ceramic. This ultimate design freedom in combination with the attractive functionality this technology offers (e.g. seamless panels that can be fully waterproof, and low-power operation) make the AitoChip very well suited for a variety of applications, such as kitchen appliances, medical equipment, consumer electronics, and simple light switches.
A touch is detected by a piezo disc per switch within a stack, connected through simple piezo filter circuitry to the control chip. The touch sensing can then be configured in terms of sensitivity, size of active area of keys, cross-talk filtering and even adaptation of different overlays as well as piezo disc properties. Configuration is handled by host software through registers via standard communication protocols to make it very easy technology to adapt to any environment. It also allows the behavior of each switch to be independently designed.
“We welcome Sirius Venture Partners to our investor group and are proud of the continued support of our existing investors. This financing round enables us to accelerate our growth and our customer base,” said Rene de Vries, CEO of Aito.
“Market response to the launch of the AitoChip has been very positive, already resulting in many design-ins in the kitchen and consumer electronic markets,” said Johannes Peschko, partner at Sirius Venture Partners who will join Aito’s Supervisory Board. “The recent addition of haptic feedback to Aito’s products will further boost the company’s growth. By working together with some of the leading global players in the electronics industry Aito can scale up very rapidly.”
The Sirus EcoTech Fonds Düsseldorf is an early-stage venture capital fund, investing in technology companies with a high growth potential. Sirius Venture Partners GmbH, based in Wiesbaden and Düsseldorf, manages the fund.