Peratech, a world leader in 3D force sensing technologies, continues to define the future of Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) with its latest technology demonstrator, showing how Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) force sensing can accelerate the evolution of mobile phones.
The latest trend within mobile handset design is to extend the screen to the very edge of the case, even curving around to the side, to maximise the useable display area. While technologies like flexible OLED displays can support this, it presents challenges for designers who need to incorporate legacy features such as the home button into ever-smaller spaces.
Peratech’s QTC technology enables a home button based on force sensing to be fully integrated below the glass screen of the phone, without the need for a bezel of any kind. This provides the perfect solution for including a home button that offers users an important positive force action, but without taking up any of the phone’s displayable area.
“Many consumers still like to have a home button on the front of the phone, putting pressure on designers to integrate some form of electro-mechanical solution,” said Jon Stark, Peratech’s CEO. “But we can show that by moving to a force-sensing solution, the home button can remain on the front of the phone without taking up any additional space. It could allow the bezel to be removed entirely, without compromising the user experience.”
Capacitive sensing alone is unable to deliver that realistic home button experience and is also prone to false triggering. Combining capacitive and force sensing eliminates false triggering and also supports new design paradigms such as the finger print sensor becoming the power button. QTC technology enables this entirely new approach to handset design, giving the best possible user experience.
Based on patented Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) technology, Peratech’s force sensors bring a new dimension to tactile or force-touch controls by being able to sense force from under 10 grams to over 10 kilograms in a sensor as thin as 50 microns. QTC-based sensors are very robust and resilient, so that changes in resistance due to even the slightest pressure are both predictable and repeatable over millions of cycles.
Combined with Peratech embedded software, QTC technology offers human machine interfaces (HMI) designers unrivalled creative freedom to expand and differentiate user experiences with a tested, mass-producible assembly. Peratech’s award-winning, thin and flexible QTC sensors come in single-point, 3D single-touch, and 3D multi-touch versions. They can be used above, below or around rigid or flexible displays, or under metal, plastic, wood, or glass surfaces. The QTC touch experience is intuitive, consistent, precise, durable and reliable, whatever the environment, even when using gloved fingers or in the presence of moisture.
The diverse applications for QTC force sensors include consumer and automotive electronics, smart home systems and appliances, and industrial controls. Over a million devices around the world now employ the technology. Peratech’s custom design and integration service minimises both cost and time-to-market. The company also offers a range of standard products. Peratech Holdco Ltd. is a privately held company based in Richmond, North Yorkshire, UK.
Quantum Tunnelling Composite and QTC are registered trademarks of Peratech Holdco Ltd. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.