Distec teams for industrial haptic displays

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Distec in Germany has teamed up with US haptic technology developer Tanvas to offer finished industrial touch monitors with software-defined tactile textures and haptic effects on the touch surface.

Previous technologies to implement haptic feedback on touchscreens like electromechanical and vibrotactile haptics are not suitable for IP-rated HMIs because they require movement of the front glass.

The TanvasTouch technology was developed at Northwestern University in the US with no moving parts. Changes in friction are perceived as fine textures, edges and bumps that can be felt with minimal visual distraction. Furthermore, those software-defined haptics enable an unlimited range of effects that can be felt with the swipe of a finger. The behaviour, size and position of the haptic feedback can be customized for the individual use via the provided API.

As the industrial application market moves to support lighter, thinner, and more flexible displays, haptic technology must also advance. TanvasTouch enables the use different zones on the same surface and can also work in conjunction with force haptic technology as a way to avoid unwanted operation or action. 

As one of the leading German specialists for TFT flat screens and system solutions for industrial and multimedia applications, Distec develops, produces and markets innovative solutions and a wide range of components, TFT displays, embedded boards, systems and services.

The company, part of the Fortec Group, is based in Germering near Munich with a plant in Hörselberg-Hainich close to Eisenach. The assemblies and kits to OEM products are based on hardware and software developed by Distec in its own design centre in Germering with a range of services includes customized developments and adaptations, product refinements such as optical bonding and assembly of monitor systems as well as the manufacture of finished products

“We offer industrial touch monitors with dust, water, fire, and impact resistance, but haptic feedback adds a completely new dimension to our devices,” said Matthias Keller, Managing Director at Distec. “With this technology, we can combine the versatility of displays with the haptic benefits of physical buttons on our monitors. The feature is simple to integrate and does not create any additional complexity to the system. The combination of a slim IP65 front-protected stainless-steel housing and the possibility to display haptic structures on the touchscreen makes the forthcoming devices pioneers in the field of industrial monitors.”

“Electroadhesion-based surface haptics do not require any moving parts at all, eliminating issues caused by vibration, air gaps or ceiling limits while expanding both the range of textures and tactile effects possible,” said Alex Kessler, Head of Business Development, EMEA at Tanvas, Inc. “Working with Distec to broaden access to new technology and modern interfaces, we are proud to offer low and mid-volume purchases that enable any company to create applications to suit their specific needs. TanvasTouch has a broad range of applications beyond industrial including automotive, home automation and any commercial display or smart surface.”

TanvasTouch will be available on Distec’s POS-PRO monitors and panel PCs from February 2022. The line-up starts with the 10.1″ version and will be expanded to all sizes of the PRO Series from 7” to 15.6” step by step. Other dimensions are available on a project basis.;

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