Zytronic encourages creativity with open-source driver for touch sensors

In order to increase the depth of support it can deliver to the market, Zytronic has introduced the first in a series of new software drivers for use with its range of Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT) touch sensors and touch controller products. Designed to work with Zytronic’s latest ZXY100 touch controller series, the initial drivers will support the increasingly popular Linux operating system, and for industrial users Microsoft Windows CE . The Linux drivers are supported on both Ubuntu 10.04 and Debian 6.01/6.02 distributions.

The ZXY100 series controllers are already designed for plug-and-play use with the in-built Windows 7 basic Human Interface Device (HID) driver, which allows touchscreen calibration. A Zytronic add-on pack to be released shortly will enable users of Windows 7 (and the forthcoming Windows 8) to tune the controller firmware directly, so that touch sensitivity, filters, overlay thickness, etc. can be readily changed to suit the individual application.

The Windows 7/8 add-on pack or “config tool” has been designed to be compatible with off-the-shelf multi-touch user interface software packages, such as Omnivision’s Omnitapps and Nuiteq’s Snowflake, so that the dual touch functionality of the ZXY100 controllers can be used fully.

The new drivers’ graphical user interface (GUI) has been improved, and now features a quick and simple “dashboard” style for basic users, plus an expert mode that allows access to filters and settings for more advanced users.

Finally, for users with software development capability, Zytronic is making the driver source code available for the Linux and CE versions. It is hoped that this will enable clients to develop their own bespoke driver packages to better suit their applications and end markets.
PCT-based touch sensor products from Zytronic have gained a great deal of popularity, being specified into public use, self-service and industrial touchscreen designs all over the world. The patented sensor mechanism utilises a matrix of micro-fine (10 micron diameter) capacitors embedded into a laminated substrate, which can then be placed behind a protective overlay which can be over 10 mm in thickness. As the active element of the sensor is not on the outer surface of the screen, it avoids exposure to the environment and potential wear and tear or deliberate damage that can impair the long term operation of most other touch technologies.

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