NXT plc launched a 15x10mm control module that, in combination with two 0.5W moving coil transducers, adds haptic touch to a flat panel whilst simultaneously turning the panel into a loudspeaker. The module is designed primarily for applications in white goods, security systems, home automation and industrial control. The haptic effect makes a touch panel feel like a mechanical keypad or keyboard.
The NXT HCM-1 module controls the transducers, which generate bending waves across the surface of the panel, creating the sensation of pressing a mechanical key when a user touches it. The touch panel also acts as a flat-panel speaker, using the same drive module and transducers. The speaker can be used to provide additional confirmation of a positive touch on the panel or audible confirmation of other circuit functions being activated.
It can also be used to deliver voice feed prompts, advertising messages, or entertainment. The use of two transducers results in even dispersion of signal strength across the whole touch panel. NXT will develop additional control modules for displays, multi-touch feedback and alternative transducer types. Higher power versions for large displays are also planned.
The HCM-1 operates from a single +3.3V power supply. Operating current consumption depends on the transducers being driven and the haptic signal profile but the module consumes only 20µA in standby.
Visit NXT at http://www.nxtsound.com.