Most of us have used public information kiosks at some point in our life, train ticket purchases, fast food menus, car parking payments, doctor/hospital check-ins plus airport check-ins to name just a few. The question is, will COVID-19 or possible future strains of the virus make people reluctant to use these now necessary machines. Will kiosks now have to provide an antiseptic wipe to ensure the screen is free from contamination before each use? Will each user be provided with a disposable stylus? Both possible solutions, but both come with their own problems.
We at Craft Data Ltd believe we have a possible solution that whilst not 100% perfect goes some way to protect users from potential cross contamination when using these multi-user kiosks. Our range of Kiosk TFT LCD monitors from our partner GTT Co. Ltd based in South Korea are fitted with their own designed and built, infrared technology-based touch screen “Untact”. In conventional IR touch frames the IR emitters and detectors are mounted as close to the display surface as possible, approx. 5mm as users did not like to see a touch register if their finger/stylus was physically not on the touch point shown on the display, this coined the term “parallax” when discussing IR touch technology. Now parallax could be a necessary side effect that enables self-service kiosks to continue to play a huge part in our automated lives!
The “Untact” Touch technology moves the IR emitters and detectors 25mm away from the front of the display which obviously makes the detection of a stylus (finger or gloved finger) 25mm away from the physical touch point being displayed on the TFT LCD panel. To help the user understand that the touch has been registered, the touch generates three haptics.
- Visual – an animated target is superimposed over the users intended touch target displayed on the TFT LCD panel.
- Light – LEDs mounted around the edge of the display will switch on at the detection of a stylus and off when the stylus is removed.
- Sound – a buzzer/beeper sounds to indicate the detection of a stylus.
The use of these three haptics clearly shows the user a touch has been detected which in tests prompted the user to move onto the next screen/process within the menu driven application programme. Another unique feature to the “Untact” touch is its polygonal touch function which detects and dismisses a hand or sleeve should these be placed within the touch area alongside the touch stylus. A 6-point Multi-Touch function is also possible giving users the same pinch and pull functionality that they associate with their own smartphones.
There are currently four sizes within the “Untact” range, 21.5”, 23.8”, 27.0” and 32.0”, all have a 1920×1080 resolution and are in the 16:9 format. IPS or MVA technology TFT LCD panels are used, ensuring that all monitors have ultra-wide viewing angles of 178° on both the horizontal and vertical axis allowing for the monitors to be mounted in both landscape and portrait orientations without the loss of image quality and colour change.