PolyIC to present series-production-ready sensor technology at LOPEC

At LOPEC PolyIC will be exhibiting a series production application for white goods and demonstrating automotive human-machine interface functions, as well as gesture controllers for consumer electronics.

Fürth/Germany, 10 February 2017: LOPEC, an international trade fair and congress for printed electronics, will be held in Munich from March 28 - 30. At the trade fair, the theme of which is “The Future of Printed Electronics”, PolyIC will present a printed electronics industrial application: PolyTC sensors for washing machine touch panels. The sensors are integrated into a seven-inch control panel on a curved plastic front panel and are employed in several series production washing machine models with different display layouts. 

PolyTC sensors are manufactured in high volumes in a roll-to-roll printing process and comprise high resolution conductive metallic structures (metal mesh) on a PET substrate. Thanks to this structure the sensors are flexible and suitable for use on curved components. The flexible electrical layout of the sensors enables them to be custom programmed to suit the particular washing machine model. The robust and flexible PolyTC sensors can be integrated into components of various geometries using efficient industrial processes. 

Being economical to manufacture, flexible in application, and quick to incorporate and connect, these sensors have achieved the goal of being series production ready, thereby leading the way for future printed electronics applications. 

Trackpad for driver assistance and in-vehicle infotainment 

Automotive instrument panels and center consoles will evolve in future without knobs and buttons. These will be replaced by touchscreens, whereby the number of display and control elements will increase and new functions will be created for driver assistance and infotainment. To enable the driver to easily manage this complexity, it will be necessary to provide a simple, intuitive interface at an affordable price. At LOPEC PolyIC will be exhibiting a trackpad demonstrator incorporating its series-production-ready PolyTC sensor technology that is leading the way to this future. The demonstrator will showcase a human-machine interface application with a 5-finger multitouch screen, slider and touch buttons, where all the controls have been efficiently integrated into the same PolyTC sensor. 

Gesture control and dead-front effect for consumer electronics

Visitors to the booth will also have the opportunity to see a contactless control demonstrator for a multi-function light switch that will demonstrate the gesture control capabilities of the PolyTC capacitive sensor technology. Using a variety of gestures the light source can be switched on and off, dimmed, and varied in color and type of illumination. This sensor application will also be exhibited in conjunction with a special surface design where the control panel is hidden behind a solid metallic design and only becomes visible once a light source is activated. This disappearing or dead-front effect is achieved with the aid of a semi-transparent surface coating that was developed by PolyIC's parent company Kurz. The metallic design is produced using non-conductive vacuum metallized (NCVM) foils, also from Kurz, that ensure a reliable capacitive field. 

The PolyIC booth at LOPEC is located in Halle B0, booth number 400. The trade fair will run from March 29 - 30, and the conference from March 28 - 30. During the technical conference, Dr. Wolfgang Clemens, Head of Product Management for PolyTC sensors, will be giving a talk on “Smart interactive and decorated surfaces for automotive and other electronics user interfaces” at 2:20 pm on Wednesday, March 29 in room 13a.