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

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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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How To Select the Optimum Touchscreen Technology For Your Organization

The use of touchscreen technology is booming in this day and age, and for good reason. Companies across a broad spectrum of industries have successfully harnessed the power of touch for a wide variety of implementations after having realized the value touchscreens could bring to employees and customers alike. Touchscreens can allow for better customer service, thus producing an influx in sales, as well as provide a surge in productivity by employees controlling an industrial process.

If you are considering implementing touchscreens within your company, you must first determine the differences between the two types, resistive and capacitive. Due to the manner and conditions in which the touchscreen will be utilized, you will want to identify which form of the device will better suit your needs. So how do resistive and capacitive touchscreens differ?

Resistive Touchscreen 

The resistive touchscreen is the prevalent form of touchscreen, and, as the name indicates, it relies on resistance to work. It is constructed using two clear layers, such as glass or acrylic substrate, separated by a thin gap. The inside of these two layers are coated in a conductive material, so when the two layers are pressed together, a voltage is passed between them, which produces an accurate measure of where the touch was made on the screen.

Resistive touch screen pic- Matching

 

Capacitive Touchscreen

Surprisingly, capacitive touchscreens were developed prior to the resistive touchscreen. A capacitive touchscreen consists of two spaced layers as well, also coated with a conductor.  Voltage is applied to the corners of a capacitive touchscreen and distributed by a pattern of electrodes located around the touchscreen’s perimeter, which creates a uniform electric field across the conductive surface.  When a conductive object, such as a finger, makes contact with the screen, a small amount of current is drawn from the surface changing the capacitance and allowing for the touch to be registered in that precise location.

So why is it important to know the difference between resistive and capacitive touchscreens? Well, it is due to the fact that the differences in how they work create variances in how they perform and in what manner they must be used in order to work properly. Depending on the differing situations and environments where the touchscreen will operate, one type may be the better option over the other.

So let’s reflect on the distinction between resistive as well as capacitive touchscreens in order to uncover which of the two types may ultimately be the most advantageous for you and your business.

Reasons one may prefer Resistive to Capacitive:

  • Resistive touchscreen technology is more affordable than that of the capacitive touchscreen alternative
  • Resistive touchscreens have higher resolution (4096 x 4096 DPI or higher), providing more accurate touch control
  • Unlike capacitive touchscreens, resistive touchscreen technology can detect a touch by fingers as well as other non-conductive materials such as a stylus or gloved fingers
  • Resistive touchscreens provide higher resistance to water and dust
  • Resistive touchscreens are not affected by Electromagnetic Interference, whereas capacitive touchscreens are susceptible to EMI
  • Due to the fact that capacitive touchscreens are made with a glass panel, they are more likely to require an anti-glare or an anti-reflective coating than a resistive screen if it is to be used in a brightly lit area
  • Resistive touchscreens are the better suited technology for handwriting recognition than the capacitive option

Reasons one may choose the Capacitive option to the Resistive:

  • No physical pressure is required when using capacitive touchscreen technology
  • Capacitive touchscreens are more responsive to touch than a resistive screen
  • Capactive touchscreens support multi-touch
  • Capacitive touchscreens are easier to clean
  • Capacitive touchscreens provide higher resistance to scratches and impacts and, overall, tend to be more durable than its resistive counterpart
  • About 90% of light is transmitted from the display monitor of a capacitive touchscreen, causing better contrast and clarity than resistive touchscreens, which transmit only 75% of light from the display monitor
  • The display on a capacitive touchscreen looks brighter and sharper than the resistive option since the capacitive monitors use a layer of glass rather than plastic
  • Capacitive touchscreens do not require occasional recalibration which is necessary for some resistive touchscreens

 

All in all, you will find that either type of touchscreen enhances and simplifies the user experience, but knowing the difference in the two versions will allow you to determine which is best suited for your particular application. In doing so, you are sure to come away with the touchscreen that will optimize capability as well as productivity when in use.

As might be expected, even when keeping all of the factors which we just covered in mind, there are still other concerns that may come into play when considering your distinct touchscreen needs. With the numerous ways that touchscreens can play a role in day-to-day tasks, it is always in your best interest to consult with your manufacturer for proposals and solutions to the challenges that you may specifically face with touchscreen utilization. Together, we are likely to come up with an appropriate custom touchscreen design to maximize efficiency, affordability, and effectiveness for you.

If you would like to learn more about Wilson Hurd’s Touchscreen division, please visit our website at 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.

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311 Winton St.
Wausau, WI 54402

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4 Things That Are Now Possible Thanks to Printed Electronics

Printed Electronics Copyright Wilson-Hurd 2014

Printed electronics are a set of printing methods used to create electrical devices on a number of substrates. They are produced by combining various printing methods to deposit electrically functional & optical inks onto a substrate. The inks can be deposited in any pattern to suit the type of application it is being made for. The end result is a lightweight, flexible electrical device, developed with a cost-effective production process.

The versatility of printed electronics is a huge draw for all manufacturers and markets. The benefits of these new electronics are endless, from lower cost, improved performance, flexibility, transparency, reliability, and much more. Even though the printed electronics market is still growing, there are some things that have been made possible in recent years, including:

  1. Printed Antennas

Printed antennas are relatively inexpensive to design and manufacture. They have a variety of useful properties including mechanical durability, conformability, compactness, and cheap manufacturing costs. They also have a range of applications in both the military and commercial sectors, and are often mounted on the exterior of aircraft and spacecraft as well as incorporated into mobile radio communication devices.

  1. Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is made with smart sensors and has the ability to connect to the Internet and collect data. Examples of wearable devices include watches, contact lenses, e-textiles and smart fabrics, types of medical devices, and jewelry such as rings and bracelets. The goal of wearable technologies in each of these fields will be to smoothly incorporate functional, portable electronics and computers into individuals’ daily lives.

  1. Smart Labels

Smart labels can be attached to any package, even packages that may bend, and they can provide real-time information about location, temperature, movement, and moisture. With smart labels, companies can also confirm the freshness of products by checking the temperature to prevent spoilage and validate the authenticity of a product. In the healthcare field, smart labels can help control inventory and track the usage and disposal of pharmaceuticals. Smart labels are also being attached to clothing where they can check body temperatures and dampness of bandages.

  1. Flexible OLED DisplaysFlexible_display

OLEDs are used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, and portable systems such as mobile phones and handheld game consoles. They are also used in commercial applications such as displays for car radios and digital cameras, among others.

Printed electronics are one of the fastest growing technologies in the world, and allows electronics to be in places they have ever been before. The market is destined to grow as technology evolves, allowing for even more possibilities to develop.

If you would like to learn more about Wilson-Hurd’s Printed Electronics division, please visit our website at www.wilsonhurd.com or fill out our form submission below:


Wilson-Hurd, founded in 1904, offers custom printing, fabricating, and electronic manufacturing services specializing in Electronic Control Products, Printed Electronics, POP Displays, Medical Contract Manufacturing, and Nameplates & Dials, Overlays, Panels.

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8 Useful New Features of Wilsonhurd.com

If you have visited Wilson-Hurd’s website sometime in the last 3 months, you might have noticed some major changes. On February 3rd, 2015 we launched our brand new corporate website, adding a variety of new features that are designed to make the product design and ordering process even easier for our customers and prospective clients. Take a look at some of the new things you can do on wilsonhurd.com:

1. Design Guidelines

Wilson-Hurd’s new Design Guidelines have been created by our Engineering department to assist you with the development of your custom Electronic Control Product. Each set of Design Guidelines features:

  • Important things to consider before designing your product
  • Construction details
  • Available materials
  • Tooling options
  • Electrical layout
  • Technical details
  • Word glossary defining important terms, and much more.

Design Guidelines are currently available for capacitive switches, elastomeric keypads, membrane switches, PiezoPanels, and Touchscreens, and can be found on their corresponding product pages.

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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 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.