Touchscreen Usage on the Rise

How often are you using a touchscreen? The answer may shock you! According to Tubular Insights, 87 percent of millennials are never without their smartphones, but they also use an average of three screens a day and 92 percent of them actively browse on second screens such as smartphones and other mobile devices while watching TV programs¹. This goes to show just how much touchscreens have become a part of our everyday life, especially for younger generations. So what affect is this having on businesses?

One of the latest trends within the touchscreen industry is stores and fast-food restaurants going to touchscreen kiosks. Macy’s, a department store with locations throughout the United States, has implemented kiosks in order to limit in-store inventory and provide an “endless aisle” experience over all the stores product lines. This is advantageous since they’re mainly located in malls with limited space for inventory. Fast-food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Panera Bread and Wendy’s have also gone a similar route by having customers in certain cities order using touchscreen kiosks. This process of ordering has lowered the average amount of time per order and allowed for employees, who used to take orders, to be moved into customer service roles, which involve waiting tables and helping customers place their orders.

With this advancement in technology, businesses that incorporate touchscreen kiosks into their customer buying experience are able to see the following benefits –

  1. Reduction in costs
  2. Improvement in efficiency
  3. Enhanced customer service
  4. Improved buying experience
  5. Increased sales

How does Wilson-Hurd fit in? We are a company that strives on innovation and providing our customers with industry leading products and service. In a time when touchscreens are becoming a major part of many businesses, wouldn’t you want a product that stands out from your competitors?

Capacitive Touchscreen IllustrationRGB

Capacitive

Resistive Touchscreen Illustration

Resistive

For our touchscreen product line, Wilson-Hurd provides both capacitive and resistive touchscreens that can be incorporated into several design options. We specialize in providing custom built products that are engineered to meet your customers’ specific needs. One advantage Wilson-Hurd provides is having the capability to incorporate touchscreens within our switching technologies, including membrane or capacitive. This allows keypads, keyboards and other product specific buttons to be incorporated along with a touchscreen. For a more in-depth look at our touchscreen offerings visit Wilson-Hurd’s touchscreen products page.


  1. Steinberg, S. (2017, February 16). Second-screen experiences: The future of media consumption. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from https://mobilebusinessinsights.com/2017/02/second-screen-experiences-the-future-of-media-consumption/
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Embossing vs Debossing – Key Differences To Know When Making Your Selection

Do you want to draw attention to your product’s name?  Or, maybe you want to enhance a certain area of your product?  By adding embossing or debossing to your products you can add a distinguishing touch.  How do you know which one to choose for your product?  To start, you need to know what it means to emboss or deboss.  Embossing and debossing are two techniques used to imprint impressed or depressed images onto a variety of materials, including aluminum, polycarbonate, polyester, vinyl, steel and brass. These imprinted materials can be utilized in many areas, including Point-of-Purchase  displays, electronic control products, nameplates, business cards, and much more.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between embossing and debossing.  “Emboss” simply stated is a raised design.  More specifically, embossing offers a new raised dimension that can be a pattern, logo, or other option.  Special tools, or dies, are used in the embossing process.  These dies are placed underneath a material to apply high pressure and ultimately raise the surface of the area being embossed.

“Deboss” is defined as a deep impression onto the surface of a material.  By using this process, the surface of the area being debossed will be concave, or lowered.  Any area that is debossed will be easily recognizable to the touch, which is advantageous for products that try to distinguish two surfaces from each other.

While embossing and debossing have key differences, both processes offer functional and stylistic advantages.  With our custom fabrication capabilities, Wilson-Hurd offers both embossing and debossing as design options.  Watch the slide show below to view examples of products that feature embossing and debossing.

If you would like to learn more about our product offerings, please visit us at wilsonhurd.com.  You may also request a quote or sample, as well as download a free brochure detailing more information about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities.

 

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3 Key Steps for Installation of a Membrane Switch

Finding the proper membrane switch for your device isn’t always easy. It’s crucial you take the necessary time to evaluate your product needs. There are many factors to consider from what materials to use, the conditions the switch will be exposed to, what price you’re willing to pay and more.

Membrane Switches 2 -72ppi - small

When applying your membrane switch to your product, here are three key steps to remember.

 Step #1: Handling/Testing

An important step that many times gets overlooked,  you will want to test your membrane switch before starting installation. While handling your membrane switch remember never to press a switch button unless it’s lying flat on a solid surface. Do not bend the switch and make sure to use anti-static wristbands to protect sensitive components from (ESD) electrostatic discharge. We recommend you test all tactile and non-tactile responses of the membrane switch prior to installing it.

Step #2: Mounting Surface

After testing to make sure your switch functions correctly, check the surface you’re mounting the membrane switch against. This surface should be clean and smooth. It must not have rough texture, residue (from adhesive, paint, etc.), burrs, bumps, steps, or hardware protrusions.

Step #3: Installation

During installation, you will want to keep the membrane switch as flat as possible. If the part is bent, it may cause damage to the domes. Starting at one end, fold back a small strip (approximately 1/2 inch wide) of the release liner from the edge. Align the part and stick down the free end, and then remove the rest of the liner. Smooth the part down with a light, slow stroke, working from the starting edge toward the opposite end to prevent air bubbles. Avoid applying extreme pressure or rolling the part down as you’re working across. After the part is on your mounting surface, use a firm but smooth rubbing motion over the entire surface to complete the bonding of the pressure sensitive adhesive. Never use a roller to apply pressure.

If the membrane switch has a tail, never bend or pull back the tail to the point where it causes creasing, as this may cause the switch to function intermittently or fail completely.

For Wilson-Hurd’s complete guidelines on handling a membrane switch click on the link provided: Guidelines for Handling a Membrane Switch.

If you would like to learn more about Wilson Hurd’s Electronic Control Products division, please visit our website at http://www.wilsonhurd.com. You may also request a quote or sample, as well as download a free brochure detailing more information about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities.

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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