Designing a Touchscreen: Where to Begin

Touchscreens are gaining popularity with manufacturers as an alternative to other switching technologies, and it is easy to see why. When it comes to user interfaces, touchscreens have successfully changed the way electronic equipment is used by simplifying the user experience and eliminating the need for buttons or keys. If you are considering incorporating a touchscreen into the design of your product, there are key items that you should consider.

First you should understand the difference between a resistive touchscreen and a capacitive touchscreen.

Resistive TouchscreenResistive Touchscreen Illustration

A resistive touchscreen is constructed using two clear conductive layers (typically a glass or acrylic substrate and a polyester top sheet) that are separated by insulating dots. When the user touches the screen and compresses the top flexible layer, electrical contact occurs between the top and bottom layer.

Capacitive TouchscreenCapacitive Touchscreen IllustrationRGB

Voltage is applied to the corners of a capacitive touchscreen and distributed by a pattern of electrodes located around the touchscreen periphery. This creates a uniform electric field across the conductive surface. When the user touches the screen with a conductive object (such as their finger), they are drawing a minute amount of current from the surface. This change in capacitance is measured at each point on the touchscreen allowing the touch position to be located.

Before you actually sit down and design your touchscreen, there are at least four main considerations you need to take into account:

  1. Environmental conditions
  2. Software requirements
  3. Firmware requirements
  4. Appearance

These will help you determine the materials and types of technology to utilize in your touchscreen. For each consideration there are a number of questions you will need to ask yourself:

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Wearable Technology You Didn’t Know Exists

Wearable technology is a device typically made out of printed electronics, which is worn by a consumer that has the ability to connect to the Internet and collect data. It is the main topic of conversation in the tech world today. While the most common wearable is currently the smartwatch, there are many other wearables out there that you may not have even known existed.

Glucose Measuring Temporary Tattoos

A researcher from the University of California created a flexible sensor to measure the glucose levels in a person’s body. These temporary tattoos use a mild electrical current to monitor the vitals and can later be disposed of after use. This is a pain free alternative to the traditional finger-stick device that diabetic patients may find unpleasant. The tattoos are relatively inexpensive and can be replaced without too much financial burden.

Sensoria

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Sensoria is a smart fitness sock that assists users on their running techniques in real time. The sock has sensors on the bottom of the foot that transmits feedback to a removable anklet which in turn syncs the information to a smartphone app. The device monitors cadence, which is the way your foot hits the ground as you run. By monitoring your technique, you not only improve your running, but also prevent any future injuries.

Kiband

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The Kiband is a wireless bracelet to monitor the location of a child. Parents using the Kiband can set custom distance perimeters to make sure their children are within sight. When the child is getting too close to the edge of the perimeter chosen by the parent, the bracelet will vibrate warning the child they have gone too far. The parent will also be notified when the child crosses the set perimeter by an alarm on the mobile app. The app will then help the parent locate where the child is.

UpRight

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UpRight is a wearable device that attaches to your lower back to help you stand and sit up straight, which will in turn prevent bad posture and future back pain. The device monitors your posture by slightly vibrating to alert you when you begin to slouch. UpRight should be worn for only 15 minutes when beginning, and you gradually lengthen the time it is used as your back muscles strengthen.  It also comes with a mobile app that gives you real time feedback and statistics.

Melomind

Melomind

The Melomind is a stress-relieving headpiece that transmits brain waves via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. Based on the signals, the app will play music to calm your mind. The session lasts up to 15 minutes and is designed to improve your ability to cope with stress.

Wilson-Hurd is an innovative leader in the production of printed electronics. We possess expertise in a number of printing methods used to create electronic devices just like the wearable technology shown above as well as other applications. If you would like to read more information about Wilson-Hurd’s printed electronics and capabilities, then click here.


About Wilson-Hurd:  Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing specializes in the production of custom electronic control products, point-of-purchase displays, medical contract manufacturing, printed electronics, as well as nameplates & dials, overlays, and panels. Wilson-Hurd was founded in 1904, and is headquartered in Wausau, WI, with additional locations in Berlin, WI.

Featured Project: Elster American Meter

Wilson-Hurd’s Nameplate & Dials, Overlays, and Panels division has worked closely with Elster American Meter to develop metal nameplates that are screen printed and cut using a compound die. Throughout the years, we have produced over 4.5 million parts for American Meter with zero defects. This accomplishment is a true testament to Wilson-Hurd’s outstanding quality and dedication.

“In the challenging world of custom manufacturing, it can be difficult for a customer to find a reliable, consistent and responsive manufacturer,” said Pete Dehne, Vice President of Operations. “We pride ourselves in our willingness to address a situation with every resource at our disposal, making it as transparent to our customer as possible.”

We hope to continue this incredible achievement and keep making our customer’s production process that much easier.

To learn more about Elster American Meter visit their website at www.elster-americanmeter.com.

For more information on Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities, click here.


Are you a current customer of Wilson-Hurd? If you would like your company’s project to be featured on the homepage of our website in our “Featured Projects” section, please e-mail us at marketing@wilsonhurd.com.

Visit Us at GlobalShop 2015

The display featured in the above video will be shown at Wilson-Hurd’s GlobalShop Booth #4259  –  Come and check it out in person!

Wilson-Hurd’s POP Displays division will be attending GlobalShop once again this year. The annual event is the world’s largest tradeshow focused on retail design and shopper marketing. It runs from March 24th-26th at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Wilson-Hurd’s POP group will be at GlobalShop showcasing a variety of POP products including counter displays, signage, logo plates & components, illuminated displays & overlays, graphic overlays, and cosmetic appliques. This year, Wilson-Hurd will also be featuring a new type of display that incorporates video, motion sensing, and LED backlighting. Check out the video above to learn more.

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet for GlobalShop, you can do so by visiting their website.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Booth #4259

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To learn more about Wilson-Hurd and our capabilities, please visit our website at wilsonhurd.com, or give us a call at 800-950-5013.

4 Common Questions Answered About Nameplates & Dials, Overlays and Panels

nameplatesdials5333Selecting a supplier for your product identification requirements may be a challenge. There are many aspects to consider and questions that may arise in the process.  Below are some common questions and answers to assist you with the design and creation of your custom product identification .

1. What is the standard lead time for Nameplates & Dials, Overlays, Panels?

Wilson-Hurd’s standard lead time is 15 business days. For orders that need artwork approval, the order is given 12 business days, but it may be delayed depending on how quickly we receive approval. Orders requiring special material may have a longer lead time. Due to the custom nature of our orders, we highly recommend you contact one of our Business Development Representatives for a lead time specific to your order.

2. What materials does Wilson-Hurd offer?

We offer a wide variety of materials for our Nameplates & Dials, Overlays, and Panels, including polycarbonate, polyester, acrylic, vinyl, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, & cold-rolled steel. If there is a material you are interested in that we do not have listed please feel free to contact us.

3. What options are available for Nameplates & Dials, Overlays, Panels?

Wilson-Hurd is able to offer domed nameplates, embossing, debossing, selective texturing, colored LED windows, folding, forming, die cutting, laser cutting, and hard-coating. To see more options, please visit our Nameplates & Dials, Overlays, Panels Capabilities page.

4. What type of aluminum finishes does Wilson-Hurd offer?

We offer a wide variety of aluminum finishes including brushed, satin, brite, cosmetic brite, linen, and mill. We can do glossy, matte, or semi-gloss on any aluminum finish, and we are able to match the color of the finish to any custom color.

To view more questions and answers about our products, click here to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or if you have a question that we have not answered visit our Contact Us page.

Press Release: Wilson-Hurd Introduces New Website

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Wausau, Wisconsin: Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing Company is pleased to announce the introduction of an entirely new website. Wilsonhurd.com received an updated design to coincide with the new branding effort that was established in 2014. This is a significant step forward to continuing Wilson-Hurd’s new chapter of business.

The new Wilson-Hurd website offers a clean, modern, user-friendly and content-rich experience. The website is designed to inform customers of all that Wilson-Hurd can do, as well as assist them in their decision making and creation of custom products. The website also focuses on explaining Wilson-Hurd’s product details and capabilities, and highlights previous work in photo galleries and featured projects.

“I’m very excited to launch our new Wilson-Hurd website,” said Jim McIntyre, President of Wilson-Hurd.  “It is our hope that you will find the new website to be informative and easy to navigate.  While I believe the website will provide you with a broad view of Wilson-Hurd, the missing component in just searching our site is the interaction with the great people of our company.  I trust that you will explore our manufacturing capabilities as described in our website and take the opportunity to contact our employees to fully engage with Wilson-Hurd.”

Additional sections and features include a video gallery, forms to request quotes and samples, design guidelines to assist customers in developing custom Electronic Control Products , links to recent blog posts, and information on employment opportunities.

About Wilson-Hurd:  Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing specializes in the production of custom electronic control products, medical contract manufacturing, printed electronics, point-of-purchase displays, as well as nameplates & dials, overlays, and panels. Wilson-Hurd was founded in 1904, and is headquartered in Wausau, WI, with additional locations in Berlin, WI.

Media Contact: Toni Laurich • Wilson-Hurd Mfg. Co. • 715-845-9221 • tonidl@wilsonhurd.com

Featured Project: Respiratory Motion Inc. ExSpiron PadSet

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Wilson-Hurd had the pleasure to work with Respiratory Motion Inc. on a medical device used in patient ventilation. The medical device known as the ExSpiron PadSet connects to a monitor to provide real-time monitoring of ventilation and respiratory rate. Wilson-Hurd’s Advanced Technology Facility (ATF) division used hydrogel technology to develop the PadSet and ran testing to ensure that the product functioned properly.

The ExSpiron PadSet went on to be used in Ebola research according to an article from the Boston Globe. The article states that researchers used the ExSpiron system to remotely perform diagnostics and therapies to a faux patient without having to come into direct contact. To read the full article about the research click here.

Some features and benefits that Respiratory Motion Inc. has mentioned about the PadSet include:

  • Five sensor array helps capture, recognize and discard artifacts
  • ExSpiron Hydrogel technology ensures good skin contact and optimal signal quality
  • Length adjustable Sensor provides for a flexible design which easily adjusts to different body sizes
  • Sensor presents a low profile comfortable Sensor Array
  • Connector provides secure connection
  • Latex-free
  • One size fits most

For more information on Respiratory Motion Inc, please visit their website at www.respiratorymotion.com.

To learn more about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities, click here.


Are you a current customer of Wilson-Hurd? If you would like your company’s project to be featured on the homepage of our website in our “Featured Projects” section, please e-mail us at marketing@wilsonhurd.com.

Featured Projects: Custom Designed Guitar Display

Guitar Detail 2

Wilson-Hurd’s POP division has demonstrated their unique, and sought-after capabilities by developing a custom designed, over-sized guitar display. This permanent display is an exceptional way of highlighting any company’s brand to make it stand out.

Product features include:

  • 1/2″ medium density fiberboard body, painted black
  • Digitally printed wood grain & embossed aluminum frets on neck
  • Overlay made of .118″ acrylic, graphics are digitally printed, screened with a gloss topcoat for protection, and laser cut to fit the shape of the body
  • Pickups on the guitar were created by embossing our cosmetic brite aluminum
  • Laser cut, white vinyl used for the pick guard
  • Includes authentic Les Paul guitar parts (tuners, bridge, and gold knobs)
  • Strings consisting of 2 different wire gauges
  • Matching painted black stand allows for the guitar to stand alone
  • Horizontal or vertical wall mounting also available with slots in back side of guitar
  • Assembled at our plant in Wisconsin then individually packed and shipped to your requirements

Guitar Detail

Contact us today to order your brand’s exclusive guitar display, or for more information on Wilson-Hurd’s Point-of-Purchase capabilities.

1.800.950.5013

sales@wilsonhurd.com

 

Are you a current customer of Wilson-Hurd? If you would like your company’s project to be featured on the homepage of our website in our “Featured Projects” section, please e-mail us at marketing@wilsonhurd.com.

Featured Projects: Electronic Theatre Controls

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Wilson-Hurd has been honored to work with the Middleton, WI-based company Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) on a number of projects, including ETC’s own CEM3 System. The CEM3 System was designed by ETC to help reduce setup time, simplify system backups, and make the process of networking a lighting system run as smoothly as possible. The CEM3 platform provides a simple and risk-free way to control lighting on stages and touring events.

Wilson-Hurd’s engineering team was able to brainstorm and combine the most effective manufacturing capabilities to give the CEM3 System these key features:

  • Capacitive touch wheel for precise lighting controls
  • Extremely tight color control using digital/screen printed combination of graphics
  • Adjustable backlit keys & LEDs for easy viewing in dark control rooms
  • Precisely embossed keys to provide explicit snap action key response
  • Assembly of the keypad to powdered coated metal backpanel

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For more information on Electronic Theatre Controls, please visit their website here.

To learn more about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities, please contact us at 800.950.5013 or e-mail us at sales@wilsonhurd.com.

Are you a current customer of Wilson-Hurd? If you would like your company’s project to be featured on the homepage of our website in our “Featured Projects” section, please e-mail us at marketing@wilsonhurd.com.

The Top 8 Advantages of Capacitive Switches

How many times a day do you think you use a capacitive switch? Probably more than you would think. For instance, when you touch the mouse on your laptop, change the temperature on your oven or use a smartphone, you are using capacitive switching.

Trends show that more manufacturers are incorporating capacitive switching technology into their new products. Two key reasons for selecting capacitive switching are its ability to withstand the harshest conditions, as well as its ease of maintenance when compared to other mechanical mechanisms.

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What are the advantages?

  • Flexibility in design of product
  • The ability to sense through heavy and thick film materials, making the switch vandal proof
  • Reduced board space requirements
  • Cost-effective alternate to traditional switching technologies
  • A variety of non-conductive overlay materials can be used, including plastic, acrylic and glass
  • Easy integration of multiple functions including LED drivers and back-lighting
  • No mechanical components within switch eliminates potential mechanical failure, and will save you money on repairs and maintenance
  • There are multiple types of interfaces that capacitive switches can be used with, including buttons, sliders, touch-pads, touchscreens and proximity sensing

Where are they used?

  • Vending machines
  • ATMs
  • Smart phones
  • Tablets
  • Household appliances
  • Exercise equipment
  • Digital cameras
  • Industrial equipment
  • Computers
  • Automotive industry

If you would like to learn more about capacitive switches and to see how they operate, view our YouTube video below.

 


 

About Wilson-Hurd:  Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing Company specializes in the production of custom electronic control products including membrane switches, capacitive switches, PiezoPanels, elastomeric keypads, and touchscreens, in addition to medical contract manufacturing, point-of-purchase displays, printed electronics, nameplates, panels, dials, and overlays. Wilson-Hurd was founded in 1904, and is headquartered in Wausau, WI, with additional locations in Berlin, WI.

For more information on Wilson-Hurd and our capabilities, visit our website at www.wilsonhurd.com, and contact us at 1.800.950.5013 or at sales@wilsonhurd.com.