Displax ‘Skin’ Turns Any Surface Into a Multi-Touch Display

An interactive hardware company Displax has begun marketing ‘Skin’, a paper-thin, flexible film that would transform any non-metal surface into an interactive touchscreen.

An interactive hardware company Displax has begun marketing 'Skin', a paper-thin, flexible film that would transform any non-metal surface into an interactive touchscreen. Photo: Displax

Displax Multitouch Technology named Skin, believed to be the first of its kind, is a transparent thinner-than-paper polymer film enables creation of large interactive screens suitable for outdoors and indoors usage.

When applied to glass, plastic or wood, the surface becomes interactive. Significantly, this new multitouch technology can be applied to standard LCD screens as well, making it an attractive choice for LCD manufacturers.

The Displax Multitouch Technology can be applied to flat or curved, opaque as well as transparent surfaces up to three meters across the diagonal.

You could place Skin on any surface, transparent or opaque, flat or curved, and use it to display any interactive content you like. Photo: Displax

It is hyper sensitive, allowing users to interact with an enabled surface not just by touching it but, for the first time, by blowing on it, opening up new possibilities for future applications.

Currently, the technology can detect up to 16 fingers on a 50-inch screen. The number of fingers detected is expected to increase as development progresses.

“Multitouch is the future of interacting with a wide range of technologies. For the commercial markets, the Displax Multitouch Technology will open up new opportunities for many market players, technology vendors as well as businesses,” said Miguel Fonseca, chief business officer of Displax, based in Braga, Portugal.

Displax’s multi-touch technology can detect up to 16 fingers at once and can also detect air movement. Photo: Displax

”It is extremely powerful, precise and versatile. Almost everyone who sees it thinks of new applications, from converting LCDs into a multitouch screens, tables into multitouch tables, to creating interactive information screens in stores, shopping malls or public areas. We already have a number of interesting pilots in progress across Europe.”

Based on patent-pending projected capacitive technology, Displax Multitouch Technology uses a controller that works by processing multiple input signals it receives from a grid of nanowires embedded in the film attached to the enabled surface.

Each time a finger is placed on the screen or a user blows on the surface, a small electrical disturbance is caused. The micro-processor controller analyses this data and decodes the location of each input on that grid to track the finger and air-flow movements.

"Almost everyone who sees it thinks of new applications, from converting LCDs into a multitouch screens, tables into multitouch tables, to creating interactive information screens in stores, shopping malls or public areas," said Miguel Fonseca, chief business officer of Displax. Photo: Displax

The Skin technology itself lets 96% of the light pass through and it’s capable to detect touch even without physical contact on up to 10mm distance.

Its system resolution is usually 1024 x 768 but it is capable of working with higher screen resolution. The folks from Displax claim that they guarantee the accuracy of the Skin and that it has a maximum of 1.9% of screen error accuracy when it is used within the recommended viewing area. The Skin is able to operate on a temperature range from 11 to 71°C (52 to 160°F) and is resistant to the water on the Skin surface.

The Displax Multitouch technology controller combined with a projected capacitive nanowired film is a lightweight and highly scalable solution, ranging from seven inches (18 centimeters) to 116 inches (almost 3 meters) across the diagonal thus opening up a wide range of commercial applications suitable for indoor or outdoor displays.

Displax Multitouch Technology will be available in the market with several embedded business applications at no extra cost, designed especially for the kind of installations that interactive technology companies work on. Photo: Displax

They come in some predefined sizes (4:3 standard: 30”… 84” and 16:9 standard: 32”… 116″) and are also available in on-request custom sizes. Displax works with partners and directly with customers to deliver multi-touch applications, enabling people to take full advantage of the latest developments.

Displax Multitouch Technology will be available in the market with several embedded business applications at no extra cost, designed especially for the kind of installations that interactive technology companies work on.

This Apps Pack will allow customers to display photo and video streams, provide users access to Google Maps and social networks, integrate news streams via RSS and play multitouch games. More applications will be available later in 2010 directly from Displax and other developers. [Displax via Mashable]

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