InduSoft discusses the benefit of multi-touch technology in industrial settings
Published: 17 April 2014 - Marianne Evans
On 25th of March 2014 InduSoft, an Invensys company, announced the release of a White Paper titled “Multi-touch Technology: Intuitive Functionality Advances Automation”, that describes in depth the benefits that multi-touch HMI offers the automation world.
With many companies implementing “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies to cut costs, multi-touch technology for accessing HMI data is quickly becoming very important to businesses and users alike. These policies allow workers to use their personal devices such as smartphones and tablets, to interact with HMI systems. In order for these programs to succeed, users must be able to interact with data on their mobile handheld devices in the same way they do with other applications. Many workers are already very familiar with using smart phones, which helps to reduce training time for new employees as they can intuitively learn new processes.
Multi-touch technology in industrial settings offers similar benefits to those in the commercial sector: reduced hardware and software costs, the ability to manipulate data quickly and easily, and widespread knowledge of how to use the technology.
However, when multi-touch technology is used with HMI systems, it offers unique advantages in addition to those mentioned above. Multi-touch screens, with their lack of moving parts, provide more longevity in harsh environments as compared to traditional screen interaction methods such as pointing devices. As well as this, manufacturers are developing stronger screens of reinforced glass or polycarbonate to protect them from splashes, scratches, heat and dust. This is a much cheaper alternative to protecting other hardware such as keyboards.
Users can easily troubleshoot potential problems by quickly zooming into a suspect area or piece of equipment, instead of scrolling through multiple screens or menus. Multi-touch technology can even improve worker and plant safety by requiring two hands on the screen to perform certain actions.
Multi-touch interface is not a gimmick, but an important evolution in HMI technology. This white paper describes in detail the benefits of multi-touch HMI as well as the reasons why this technology will soon become the de facto standard in automation and can be viewed at: