Electronics that are both flexible and transparent offer engineers and product designers greater design freedom to embed circuits or user interface interactivity where desire, but they must also be durable to withstand daily use. Products developed in this way will not only push the envelope in user experience, design simplicity, economy of material and manufacturing efficiency, but also deliver longevity in operation to giving them a strategic competitive advantage.
Whether you are redesigning or creating a thermostat, kitchen appliance, laundry appliance, coffee maker, smart speaker or a home automation IoT device – these principles will ring true.
State of the art appliances require state of the art materials solutions
It is somewhat ironic that today’s “buttons and switches” are simple extensions of the dials and levers used to control so much of the mechanization brought to us during the Industrial Revolution. Little has changed except for their size and ease of activation, but, for the most part we continue to activate and deactivate the “machines” we use every day with buttons and switches. The iPhone has, however begun to “change all that”.
The iPhone brought about the "touch or slide" as a means of activating a broad range of functionality. Not just a phone, it gave us a camera, a calculator, an email terminal and more, all accessible via the touch of a finger.
This not only revolutionized the telecommunications industry, it changed the way people expect to command a machine.
Next generation appliances and devices will use similar "touch buttons and sliders" to activate their functions, even if the basis functionality of the machine remains the same. The next generation materials that enable this functionality will not only make them easier to use, they will make them much more appealing to end users!
Longer lasting, better performing touch buttons.
AgeNT is a high performance transparent, conductive film that enables engineers to easily add interactivity through touch buttons or smart surfaces into an increasingly diverse range of user environments. It is no longer enough to have combine mechanical switches and touch panels to create the “human machine-interface”. Touch buttons, sliders and traditional X-Y touch panels must be seamlessly integrated into devices, vehicles and appliances and they must incorporate more functionality in less space in a way that is easily accessible and ergonomically friendly. Achieving this level of adaptability will require manufacturing techniques and materials that are more versatile than ever before.