Essential Factors to Consider for Outdoor Applications with Touch Display
With technology taking the leap, touch screen interfaced devices are becoming common in our day-to-day life. Almost all consumer electronics, kiosks, P.O.S terminals etc. today that have displays use touch technology. The benefits of touch screen technology have driven up sales of the devices that employ them owing to the ease of use, increased complexity, and capability of them.
But the demanding conditions of every device is different, which is broadly categorized into indoor and outdoor applications. Unlike point-of-sale (POS) displays, ATMs or Kiosks operating outside are subject to vandalism and poor weather conditions. Outdoor touch displays, therefore, require a level of planning. This creates the need to provide durable and waterproof touch screens that can sustain the rugged conditions and weather.
There are certain essential factors you cannot ignore when designing an outdoor touch display application.
Sunlight & Heat
Sunlight can cause reflections creating low readability of the display. For outdoor display devices, the touch screen sensor needs exceptional clarity and transmissivity. Enhanced backlights or a anti-reflective or anti-glare coating on the touch screen construction can help in reducing annoying glare.
Hot and humid conditions, on the other hand, can impact touch performance. It, therefore, would be recommended to provide the touch display with an infra-red rejection film to significantly reduce heating of the touch display.
Knowing water and electronics don’t go well together, the challenge is to create touch devices impervious to water. When traditional touch screens are exposed to rainwater, it can confuse some types such as Projected Capacitive (PCAP), Infrared Optical (IR), and Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) to register a false touch. Regular resistive touch sensors will work when exposed to water but can be damaged by frequent exposure to water or high humidity over time.
Thus, solutions like Ultra Resistive touch screens from A D Metro can be considered as the perfect choice for waterproof touch screens in outdoor applications. It offers great enclosure NEMA rated sealing compatibility to keep the device sealed to preventing water damage.
While designing an outdoor device, extreme cold temperature must be taken into consideration. The surface of the touch display should be strong enough to withstand cold conditions but also needs to work with gloved hands. A mullion heater plate installed behind the sensor is one solution that can be employed to deal with extremely cold conditions.
Damage and vandalism
Unfortunately, outdoor applications are often subject to damage by vandalism or accidental damage. It may cause the glass surface of the display to break. Keeping in mind public safety and economic loss, it is important to use touch screens that don’t shatter into small shards when hit.
With these many considerations for an outdoor application, a touch screen needs to be chosen wisely. There are plenty of options, but A D Metro’s Ultra Resistive touch screens stand out as a comprehensive solution, able to meet the expectations of outdoor environments. It is made of a patented durable glass surface, resistant to scratches and abrasion, impervious to most chemicals and completely waterproof. It offers unbeatable operation in harsh environments, including rugged, outdoor and unattended kiosk applications. Its immunity to EMI enables easy integration with any display and without compromising touch sensitivity. The glass-polyester laminated outer surface resists wear of internal transparent coatings that are used to operate the sensor increasing life expectancy over ten-fold compared to standard resistive touch sensors. Its pressure activated and works with heavily gloved hands, styluses, or anything that can apply pressure to its surface. Two touch versions are also now available.