Touch International unveils Digital Ink touchscreen

Austin, TX—Touch International Inc. has released Digital Ink, which the firm says is the worlds' thinnest and only form-fitting, unbreakable, wear-resistant touch technology capable of stylus, finger, and gloved-hand input with palm rejection. The company adds that Digital Ink brings the functionality of a touchscreen to any material.

By Control Engineering Staff July 29, 2003

Austin, TX— Touch International Inc. ny material, including window storefronts, tabletops, or bullet-proof glass. With its palm rejection capabilities, Digital Ink eliminates accidental input from the pressure of the user’s knuckles or palm, ensuring accurate input registration.

Digital Ink supports USB and PS/2 communication protocols. Supported operating systems include Microsoft Windows 98/2000/CE/ME/XP, Linux and Macintosh. Digital Ink is ideal for retail signature capture, web phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), gaming devices, global positioning systems (GPSs), and other handheld applications in which thinness, power-efficiency, and low-weight are crucial to design advances.

Digital Ink is currently available in sizes up to 5.7 inch diagonal. Larger sizes will become available in 4Q03, making Digital Ink available for use in most touch applications. Expanded applications will include: industrial automation, point-of-sale, kiosks, gaming and lottery, business automation, tablet PCs, Web pads, process control.

‘Digital Ink is the biggest advance in touch technology in more than 10 years,’ says Gary Barrett, Touch International’s co-founder. ‘Once scaled up to larger-size touchscreens, I believe it will revolutionize the industry.’ Barrett invented and patented the first five-wire resistive touchscreen sensor in 1984, which increased the life and durability of resistive touchscreens, and patented the first pen-entry technology in 1985, which enabled invention of PDAs and tablet PCs.

Presently, analog-resistive and capacitive are the most widely used touch technologies, with resistive accounting for approximately 60% and capacitive holding less than 25% market shares. However, these two technologies have vastly different capabilities, and, until now, touchscreen users have had to choose certain features and sacrifice others. For example, if a pen or gloved finger input is an absolute necessity, the user would have to choose resistive, sacrificing the added durability and optical purity that capacitive offers, because capacitive can only be used with finger input. The company reports that Digital Ink offers all the benefits of both capacitive and resistive technologies with none of the associated drawbacks.

Control Engineering Daily News DeskJim Montague, news