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Touch Systems Introduces MicroTouch Interactive Surface Technology

 Flexible Touch Layer Laminates to Any Surface in Retail, Point-of-sale, Kiosks and Industrial Applications

Touch Systems, Inc. introduces a new touch technology platform – Interactive Surface Technology (IST) – addressing the needs of traditional touch application segments such as retail, point-of-sale, kiosks, and industrial. It also expands the possibilities of touch for new emerging applications, such as outdoor environments, mobile and handheld devices, and on- and off-display implementation for use in automobiles.

Flexible Touch Layer Laminates to Any Surface in Retail, Point-of-sale, Kiosks and Industrial Applications

Methuen, Mass., 24 May 2005 – Touch Systems, Inc. introduces a new touch technology platform – Interactive Surface Technology (IST) – addressing the needs of traditional touch application segments such as retail, point-of-sale, kiosks, and industrial. It also expands the possibilities of touch for new emerging applications, such as outdoor environments, mobile and handheld devices, and on- and off-display implementation for use in automobiles. 3M will display MicroTouch IST this week at the Society for Information Display trade show in Boston.

The new technology is an evolution of 3M's projected capacitive touch technology. Its unique design is based on the fact that the interactive touch surface is constructed of a flexible, polyester layer that can be laminated to the front and back of any surface, or applied to a contoured surface. The substrate for lamination can be plexiglass, polycarbonate, plastic, glass, laminated glass or any other non-conductive surface. In addition, MicroTouch IST can support "on display" use with LCD panels or "off display" use creating touch pad or button interface designs not using a display.

Emerging Applications for Touch
Mobile devices and handheld computers with MicroTouch IST will be enhanced with new and different capabilities that can be activated with finger, stylus, or gloved input.

Products used in outdoor environments can be supported with laminated stack-ups integrated with Vikuiti Solar Reflecting Film for heat resistance or Vikuiti Light Control Film for privacy. The ability to have a protective, replaceable front surface placed in front of a MicroTouch IST touch screen is also planned.

Opportunities exist for automotive designers to design in MicroTouch IST for on-display navigation systems or as part of an integrated centre stack, centre console, and/or overhead controls. In addition, the flexible foundation of this technology – the polyester touch layer – allows off-display, button-like implementations under leather, vinyl, cloth, or moulded plastics.

MicroTouch IST's unique ability to underlay this touch layer behind any non-conductive material offers home appliance and home automation designers new ways to implement touch embedded in glass tables or countertops or as the actual interface for an appliance – with or without an LCD.

"Steadfast in our commitment to provide innovative touch solutions, the addition of this new touch technology platform continues to demonstrate our dedication to bring new and creative ways to solve today's industrial design challenges in order to deliver tomorrow's products," said Terry Jones, general manager for 3M Touch Systems, Inc. "Our customers continually request touch solutions that satisfy specific requirements for distinct environments. It is through the efforts of our continued pursuit to satisfy our customers that we were able to develop another new technology platform – Interactive Surface Technology."

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