Freescale's Xtrinsic 3.0 Software Lets Touchscreens Overcome Water
The TWRPI Plug-In Starter Kit comes with two touch panels for testing of the Xtrinsic 3.0 software algorithms for touch interfaces. Configurable rotary, slider, and keypad decoders, and pre-exiiting application code and HMI functionality, comes free.
Have you ever made a HMI before? I have made a few in the past, and I was faced with the challenge of making a simple and intuitive system. I have to tell you, it is difficult. What made sense to me, was not clear to others. After the attempts to make a complete system, I switch to the one button approach. "Hit it, and it goes" methodology.
An interesting HMI that I created a while back used an alph-numeric display with several buttons below. The function of each button depended on the message displayed. What made the interface unique is that when the system was functioning correctly there were several messages that went by so fast that they were not noticed, but when mechanical parts of the system would hang up or get stuck, there woulkd be a message asking them to wait for that function. A form of diagnosics that did not need any branching logic, it wound up being very reliable.
The buttons below the screen served the similar purpose as tough screen buttons, but they were waterproof and did have a nice click feel when operated. Sot of "haptics for free"
Do you think you could design something better than what is currently available in the touch market? If so, perhaps you should work on that. Produce a concept, flow charts, etc. If patented, you may be able to get ahead of the big contenders. Then, sell the design. Just a thought.
I really don't see that anything better needs to be designed. For systems that are mission critical, and those where reliability trumps following the current fad, non-touch systems have been much better for quite a few years. One more thing is that the off-screen buttons use less power to operate, and incur less circuit complexity, making them more reliable in a very fundamental way. Of course, that atttitude would not add anything to the profits that are obtained from selling touch screen systems.
Cabe, For starters the interface to a rugged pushbutton is more robust than the interface to a touchscreen would normally be. Next, buttons in a row below a screen, used as smart buttons, which change function depending on their screen label, are often very durable. The one button that I have seen fail had been accidentally filled with oil and metal particles after it was installed, when holes were drilled in the panel abobe it without any precautions being taken. But that same model of button has survived mud and floods and being hosed off to clean it. But those buttons do cost a few dollars each. The seven cent buttons are not so robust and durable.
You are probably right. The Optimus Maximus (and Popularis) keyboard(s) featured OLED screens in each key. The function label of each key could them be changed as the application demanded. It does look useful. Not sure how popular the $1000 USD keyboard was. I am sure it wasn't a happy time for buyers when they dumped a Diet Pepsi on the keys... you know it happened.
Also see the Optimus Mini-six, a 6 spot keypad for $700 USD.
Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are getting ready to explode onto the market and it appears all the heavy tech companies are trying to out-develop one another with better features than their competition. Fledgling start-up Vrvana has joined the fray.
A Tokyo company, Miraisens Inc., has unveiled a device that allows users to move virtual 3D objects around and "feel" them via a vibration sensor. The device has many applications within the gaming, medical, and 3D-printing industries.
While every company might have their own solution for PLM, Aras Innovator 10 intends to make PLM easier for all company sizes through its customization. The program is also not resource intensive, which allows it to be appropriated for any use. Some have even linked it to the Raspberry Pi.
solidThinking updated its Inspire program with a multitude of features to expedite the conception and prototype process. The latest version lets users blend design with engineering and manufacturing constraints to produce the cheapest, most efficient design before production.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.