The Problems with Large Format Touch Screens for Integrators

As an integrator, you undoubtedly see how the technology landscape is an ever-evolving environment of game-changers and obsolescence. To stay ahead of the competition, integrators must always be at the forefront of emerging technologies that provide high performance and customer satisfaction.

Studies show that 24% of companies expect to spend more than $1 million on digital signage. In order to capture the largest portion of this growing market, you need to ensure you are leveraging the best products which allow for a diverse range of client applications. This means avoiding restrictive touch and signage products, in favour of more scalable and cost-effective technologies.

Enter Baanto’s ShadowSense – ShadowSense technology delivers a powerful large format touch screen solution that sets the bar higher. Let’s examine some of the problems of traditional large format solutions, and see where ShadowSense can come into play.

What’s the Problem?

A common challenge integrators face when it comes to finding a multi-touch solution for digital out-of-home (DOOH) large format touchscreen applications, is finding one that offers a wide range of touch inputs and maintains efficiency in performance. Current technologies often still face common issues, and just like most technology in the electronics industry, tech is driven to its lowest cost, so manufacturers have created designs that minimize cost but don’t necessarily offer the same breadth of features that end clients may need in Ultra HD large format touch screen displays.

Performance and Accuracy Issues

Current low-cost designed technologies use a USB power from the host PC– which will work accurately when processing data for a 46-inch display. But when it comes to a large format touch screen bigger than a 46-inch display, trying to process the data requires more horsepower. To compensate for the increased data, some manufacturers have reduced the number of scan cycles at the expense of resolution and accuracy where the sensors simply can’t keep up and there is pronounced cursor and touch point lag. Today’s common large format touch screen technologies, which are powered using USB to PC hosts, also face a problem of time lag if the PC is the sole source of power to multiple different peripherals.

Optical technology is fast, low cost and scales well, yet due to its current limitations, it is only possible to accurately track a few touchpoints. The rest are “best guesses” and, depending on the firmware, sometimes the system gets confused and you end up with touchpoints in unintended places.

What’s the Solution?

ShadowSense technology is the next generation in touch, and it’s changing the way we interface with devices. It’s a form of perimeter-based technology that uses light emitted by LEDs and the shadows thrown by the object to calculate size and location on the screen.

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. It’s a plug-and-play system that works with virtually any operating system from Windows to Mac and Android.

  • Functionality Independent of Host CPU

ShadowSense heightens the user experience and takes engagement to a higher level because it requires no drivers or touch detection applications running on the host CPU, making the technology an outstanding solution for cost-sensitive applications using low-power CPUs and media players. The ShadowSense high-performance sensors operate in the analog domain to provide unprecedented and unparalleled performance, stability and accuracy. A large-format touch screen powered with ShadowSense eliminates the problems of traditional technologies such as resistive, surface capacitive and SAW. Because of its superior drift-free performance, outstanding optical clarity and fast, accurate response time, ShadowSense technology supports palm rejection and accepting any input device. Unlike other technologies, ShadowSense has the ability to instantaneously recognize multiple touch inputs with minimal lag, making it possible for multiple individuals to simultaneously interact with large format touch screens.

  • Scalability Without Feature Loss

ShadowSense technology is highly scalable and cost-effective. Sizes scale from 8” (20.3 cm) right through to 267” (678 cm). The same powerful ShadowSense features are supported in all sizes producing scalability in touch technology. Unlike competitive systems, the costs of ShadowSense do not scale exponentially with size, making the solutions highly affordable, with full support for all ShadowSense features at all sizes. There is no significant increase in price, and no performance is lost, even in larger devices.

Large format displays using ShadowSense technology have the ability to sense the size of the touch input object, allowing ShadowSense to react instantaneously to almost any object including gloved fingers or pen inputs. Being able to accurately sense the size of the object also allows for exceptional control over the touch experience. Large format screens open the possibility to leveraging larger input devices such as paint brushes of all sizes, and even white board eraser brushes. These types of inputs can be configured for optimal use such that the screens can emulate the experience of writing on an actual whiteboard or painting on a canvas. Never before has such flexibility been available from one solution. This means one solution to learn, train on, and implement for your diverse range of client requirements.

  • Environmental Immunity

Even in direct sunlight or environments that are very bright, devices equipped with ShadowSense are virtually immune to ambient light problems, rendering extreme clarity and readability of the content being displayed.

The technology is also failure-proof. Users can avoid problems with unresponsive touch screens because ShadowSense still works, even if parts of the screen are blocked or if other components of the device fail.

Today, on average, digital signage installations are increasing by 40% per year. In order to maximize market share, you must be able to deliver scalable solutions with ease. These solutions must also withstand the changing demands of the client such that they perform in differing environments and for changing uses. Having a flexible product solution becomes critical. ShadowSense technology addresses all these requirements and more. It is the future of touch screen technology and it’s here now.

What sorts of issues have you faced as an integrator while trying to leverage touch solutions for a broad array of client applications?  Share your comments below and get in touch to see how ShadowSense can help to bring the above mentioned benefits to your company and clients.

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