In the age of COVID-19, the way we interact with our devices is being scrutinized more than ever in an effort to head off the transmission of disease. Key to this fight will be the implementation of user interfaces that can be thoroughly sterilized quickly and easily. Old-fashioned switches and dials are already being phased out in favor of touch interfaces, but they are even less appealing now, given the nooks and recesses they can harbor microbes in. Luckily, Force Sensing Resistors (FSR) and other resistive sensing technology can provide an inexpensive, durable basis for creating sanitary human-machine interfaces (HMIs).
Leading sensor manufacturer Interlink Electronics recently introduced the latest evolution of the Force Sensing Resistor (FSR) technology it invented and first brought to the marketplace more than 35 years ago. The new FSR X and FSR UX series still employ a piezoresistive design in which the degree of applied pressure produces an inverse electrical output—allowing it to detect variations in force—but they are more precise and sensitive than ever before, expanding their potential range of uses. Thanks to their ultrathin form factor and reliance on pressure (rather than capacitance), the sensors can easily be integrated behind surfaces that can be quickly sprayed with cleaning solutions and wiped down.
“During this public health crisis, businesses are actively looking to curtail every possible source of viral spread to protect their employees,” said a spokesperson for Interlink Electronics. “Our latest FSR technology is not only ideally suited for sanitary human-machine interfaces, but for a whole new spectrum of applications, thanks to the X and UX series’ greatly expanded sensing ranges.”
Interlink’s FSR sensors are ultrathin and available in a wide variety of standard lengths, sizes, and designs. The company can also produce custom sensors in unique shapes and sizes. The standard issue FSR is the 400 Series, which carries a dynamic sensing range from 0.2 to 20 N. The more advanced X series sports a sensing range that spans from 0.3 to 50 N, while Interlink’s top-of-the-line FSRs, the UX series, are able to detect forces from 0.5 to 150 N. No matter the model, all of Interlink’s FSRs are built with durability in mind and can withstand millions of actuations.
Interlink also recently debuted the VersaPad Plus, the latest and greatest incarnation of its resistive touchpad line. Like the FSRs, the VersaPad Plus relies on detecting force to determine where the touchpad is being pressed. Unlike alternative touchpad technology, resistive pads are extremely hardy and, if integrated properly, can be deep cleaned with water or other cleaning agents without worrying about damaging the device or impeding its operation. Users of the VersaPad Plus can also take advantage of another layer of infection protection by wearing gloves while manipulating the device—something that traditional finger-operated capacitive touchpads don’t allow.
“We all share the goal of wanting to return to normalcy, but safety always takes the top priority,” said the spokesperson. “The FSR sensors and VersaPad touchpads are easy to sanitize and can be operated while wearing gloves—protecting their users. And our latest technological advances mean they can be used in more applications than ever before.”
Company Name: Interlink Electronics
Contact Person: Garrett Hess
Email: Send Email
Address:1267 Flynn Road
Country: United States