Shoei Co Ltd exhibited a touch panel that is hybrid between an optical touch panel and a resistive touch panel at the 3rd Int'l Automotive Electronics Technology Expo.
The exposition runs from Jan 19 to 21, 2011, in Tokyo. Shoei expects that the new touch panel will be used as an operation panel independent from a display (The company does not plan to embed the touch panel in a display). The touch panel will make it possible to control a car navigation system just by operating the panel installed near the driver's seat without stretching a hand to the LCD monitor of the car navigation system, the company said.
In a demonstration, the new touch panel was used as if the capacitive touch panel of a notebook PC is used to move a cursor on its LCD display. In the case of such a notebook PC, a cursor is moved by using a touch pad, and the position of the cursor is normally "input" by clicking a button near the touch pad. On the other hand, with the hybrid touch panel, it is possible to move a cursor and input its position just by using the panel.
To realize this function, Shoei employed the function of a resistive touch panel. The position of a cursor is input by pressing the upper conductive glass board of the panel to the lower conductive glass board. Because it is difficult to move a cursor by using a resistive touch panel, the company used the function of an optical touch panel.
The hybrid touch panel was developed by attaching a camera and a retroreflective tape, which are necessary to realize the function of an optical touch panel, to a resistive touch panel. Shoei aims to make a prototype of the panel within 2011 and commercialize it in or after 2012.