What is ShadowSense?

“ShadowSense” latest touch screen technology

Introducing ShadowSense

Baanto ShadowSense™ touch technology is an innovative and patented optical position sensing technology. ShadowSense designs use high performance sensors operating in the analog domain to provide unprecedented performance, stability, and accuracy.

The best analogy for ShadowSense technology lies in the 6,000 year old sundial. The shadow cast by a sundial instantly and accurately responds to the position of a light source without the use of lenses, with an infinite depth of field, and without the need for exposure control. ShadowSense technology exploits the same characteristics for touch applications, resulting in one of the highest performance, most robust optical sensing solutions available.

What is a ShadowSensor?

A ShadowSensor is a patented sensor that is capable of detecting the angle of a ray of light based on the shadow cast on the sensor. The sensor itself consists of a couple of light detecting pixels and a mechanical roof that covers half of one of the pixels. Click on the video for a more detailed explanation.

ShadowSense Architecture

ShadowSense latest touch screen technologyA typical configuration of a ShadowSense touchscreen utilizes six (6) sensors on the top bar; one in each corner and two mid-span. For illumination, 940 nm IR LEDs are deployed on both sides and the bottom of frame.

ShadowSense Performance

ShadowSense touch is based upon the precise and accurate detection of an object’s shadow as it enters, hovers within, or transitions out of a sensor’s field of view. The object’s position in the touch plane is then calculated based upon the ratio of a fully illuminated condition to the shadowed state for multiple light sources and multiple sensors.

When a finger or an object touches the screen, multiple shadows are cast out at different angles. Each one of the ShadowSensors calculates the angle of the shadow that falls upon it. The on-board processor calculates the interference pattern of the shadows detected by the various sensors. Simply, the interference pattern is where multiple shadows converge together and best describe the touch location. When the shadows converge, the intersection of the shadows also describe the size and shape of the object.

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Object Detection and True Multitouch

ShadowSense latest touch screen technologyWhen an object touches the optical plane, it casts several shadows that are detected by each sensor. The intersection of the shadows creates an area approximated by a circle that represents the size and shape of the touch object. This allows ShadowSense to differentiate between a finger, a stylus, an eraser, or any other object.

In a 6 sensor configuration, a touch point is detected when all 6 shadows intersect with each other. The intersection of any fewer shadows will not yield a valid touch. If there are multiple touch objects then there will be multiple areas where all 6 shadows intersect with each other, allowing ShadowSense to track each one individually.

Transparency Detection

ShadowSense latest touch screen technologyShadowSense has the unique ability to detect the transparency of an object, allowing it to ignore screen contaminants such as rain, grease or other fluids. The transparency of an object is determined by the density of the shadow that is detected by the sensors. The shadow cast by a solid object will be darker than that of a transparent object. Using Dashboard, ShadowSense can be configured to ignore transparent touch objects to provide a better user experience.

Baanto ShadowSense touch screens implement an innovative and patented approach to detecting touch and outperform other types of touch screens in terms of durability, all weather performance, multi touch support, accuracy, scalability, and cost effectiveness.

ShadowSense is a perimeter based touch technology with an operating principle that is similar to that of a sundial. Here is how it works:

  • LEDs emitting light at a fixed wavelength are embedded in the bezel of the ShadowSense frame.
  • Analog sensors, operating at 10,000 fps that are responsive to only the light from the LEDs, are embedded in the bezel.
  • When an object touches the screen, it casts a shadow on the sensors. Tracking algorithms running on a controller in the sensor determine the exact position, size, opacity, and pressure exerted by the object based on the ratio of readings of fully illuminated, partially illuminated and completely shadowed sensors.
  • For implementing multi touch, time domain multiplexing is used.
  • Response times are 6 to 8 ms, and objects can be detected to a diameter of 4 mm.

Why should System Integrators care about ShadowSense?

If you are a system integrator that offers touch screen solutions to clients in industries like retail, medical, and hospitality you can improve user satisfaction and stand out from the competition by offering a unique product without pricing yourself out of the market.

ShadowSense enabled screens benefit you in the following ways:

  • ShadowSense screens function in all kinds of environments and can be installed or deployed virtually anywhere without any degradation of performance.
  • Our technology can scale up cost-effectively from small kiosks to massive video walls while maintaining consistent performance.
  • ShadowSense products are USB HID compliant and need no driver or processor support, and are compatible with all major operating systems.

Why should end user CTOs care about ShadowSense?

As a CTO, you are constantly challenged to find technological solutions that provide value to the end user without putting an undue strain on the budget. For touch screens, the silver bullet would be a solution that is easy to install and maintain, works reliably, and delivers the “iPhone” experience which users are conditioned to expect from a touch interface.

ShadowSense screens are the perfect solution because:

  • They work in any location. For example: shopping malls, hotels, airports, exhibition areas, upscale retail outlets, kiosks, vending machines, ATMs, and industrial spaces.
  • They deliver high performance across sizes ranging from 8’’ to 267” and are highly resistant to contaminants such as water, dust, grease, mud, ketchup or other impurities.
  • They operate with high optical clarity (>91%), offer an immersive and engaging user experience, and are competitively priced.

Read more about the solutions built around ShadowSense.

Why should technical influencers and engineers care about ShadowSense?

The pace of development of touch screen technologies is rapid. As an influencer your job is to identify technologies that are reasonably future proof and compatible with your company’s products without sacrificing performance and reliability.

ShadowSense screens let engineers and developers take full advantage of touch by:

  • Eliminating the disadvantages that hobble other touch screen technologies such as requiring a bare finger to register a touch.
  • Providing full control over parameters like opacity, size, accidental touch and touch delay time to create a highly immersive and satisfying user experience.
  • Offering a USB HID interface that requires no drivers and is compatible with all major operating systems including Android.

Ready to leverage ShadowSense?

Baanto offers unparalleled touch technology through ShadowSense. Our technology outperforms other touch technologies while yielding cost savings.

Get Started Today


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