Imagine an individual standing in the heavy rain at a parking queue and trying to get a ticket through the vending machine operated by a touchscreen. Rainwater dripping down the display makes it almost impossible to use the system. Touch commands aren’t effectively registered, or the entire ticket vending system is down as too much water is running over the screen rendering it useless. The problem is not particularly about the parking ticket vending machine but for almost all outdoor applications. This is because most touch screens are not waterproof and don’t work when wet.
To fix the problem and make outdoor touch applications (kiosks, vending machines, etc.) more functional regardless of weather conditions, A D Metro has developed weatherproof touch technologies such as their ULTRA resistive touch screens. Ideal for outdoor applications, ULTRA resistive touch screens allow operating the touch device in any weather conditions and even underwater.
ULTRA Resistive Touch Screens for Waterproof Solutions:
In fact, A D Metro’s ULTRA resistive touch screens are the only touch sensors on the market that can be operated in any weather condition indefinitely. Unlike standard resistive touch screens, ULTRA is designed with a waterproof external glass layer to provide safety against water and moisture exposure. The PET/Glass switch layer in ULTRA resistive touch screens leave no possibility for moisture to migrate through it to hamper the sensors.
This waterproof touch screen solution by A D Metro is the perfect choice for applications exposed to water. This touch technology offers consistent operation and assures the long life of equipment that uses them. The glass-film-glass (GFG) construction of ULTRA resistive touch screens includes a borosilicate glass membrane to improve the operational life of the touch screen applications because it reduces ITO fracturing and pillowing by creating a stiffer glass/polyester top layer.
Hence, for outdoor and rugged applications such as kiosks, military, industrial, transportation, marine, etc., armored ULTRA resistive touch screens offer the best performance through their exceptional waterproof, all weather technology. Additionally, their immunity to EMI facilitates easy integration with any display type without compromising touch sensitivity. Basically, A D Metro’s ULTRA-resistive touch screen sensors allow designing applications into watertight enclosures and reliably operate when exposed to wet conditions or any kind of dirt or contaminants.
Are Projected Capacitive Touch Screens Waterproof?:
In the market, projected capacitive (PCAP) touch screens are often stated as waterproof. Unfortunately, some vendors loosely use the term ‘waterproof’ while describing PCAP products; but that is misleading.
Water in a small amount, like mist or small droplets on the surface of PCAP touch applications, normally does not disturb the operation. Even water droplets less than 4mm do not impede their operation. But heavy rainfall or water conditions don’t allow PCAP touch screens to work reliably. In fact, there is nothing like waterproof PCAP touch operation. PCAP technology works with the conductivity of a human finger so anything else that can be conductive, like rainwater can interfere with its operation. Many variables in wet conditions make it very difficult for PCAP touch screens to operate reliably when wet. For instance, the size of water droplets on the screen, the thickness of mist on the screen’s surface, the sheeting of water on the surface, puddling of water on the bottom of the screen, and most importantly, the hardness of the water with conductive minerals such as salt from sea water or other minerals found in rainwater. Any variation in these conditions or combination of these factors can render PCAP touchscreens inoperable despite what the manufacturer claims. For instance, you can pour distilled water over a PCAP touch screen as you might see in some demonstration videos, and it will still work because distilled water contains no minerals and is a very poor conductor of electrical energy. Does that make PCAP waterproof? Well, yes, but for distilled water only. It doesn’t rain distilled water. Also, if the surface is dirty with a film of dust, rainwater mixing with that can dramatically increase the conductivity of the water. All these variables make it very difficult to use PCAP reliably in outdoor conditions.
Interestingly, A D Metro has yet another innovative solution to overcome the waterproof issues in PCAP touch technology to some extent. They provide a few signal processing techniques that may help address the water-related issues such as their Water Rejection controller which is programmed to reject inputs from the sensor until it finds something similar to normal touch. This technique ensures the touch screen rarely falsely activate when wet.
Choosing A D Metro Waterproof Touch Solutions:
Overall, ULTRA-resistive touch screens are perfect for applications that require waterproof touch screens to operate in any condition. For applications that require a PCAP touch solutions to operate in wet conditions, manufacturers can consider integrating PCAP touch sensors with Water-Rejection technology.