Capacitance Simplifies Touch Sensing

July 17, 2006

1 Min Read
Capacitance Simplifies Touch Sensing

Capacitive sensing techniques are enjoying a sudden spurt in popularity, mainly because they offer low cost, relatively easy assembly, and a cleaner, more modern look than mechanical buttons and switches. Automakers have made news with the use of capacitive sensing in occupant detection for safe deployment of air bags, and appliance makers have begun using them in touch screens. Engineers of Apple's iPod also created a high-profile, intuitive interface using capacitive methods.

"The iPod woke up the consumer electronics industry with regard to capacitive touch sensing," notes Philip Sieh, E-field applications engineer for the Sensors and Actuators Solutions Division at Freescale Semiconductor. "It gives a more contemporary look, and gives the designer more freedom."

Sieh adds that some hospitals have begun using them for patient detection and for monitoring in beds and air mattresses. Also, automakers are employing them now in door modules for control of windows, mirrors and consoles.

"More designers are beginning to see capacitive sensing as an alternative method," Sieh says. "It provides a unique solution for a lot of non-contact applications."

Check out the featured articles from this Trend Watch Section:

Cypress's CapSense Sensor
Freescale's E-field Sensor
ADI's Capacitance-To-Digital Converter

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like