New Product Discoveries - Grayhill's Touch Encoder and Neonode's Touch Sensor

Through the years, Digi-Key has become synonymous with circuit board level components (things soldered directly to a circuit board). True Digi-Key fans have noticed, however, that through the years our product offering has expanded well beyond that; offering products to truly fit any and all electronic-related applications.

As the industrial automation market continues to expand, Digi-Key has jumped at the opportunity to provide our customers with the most cutting-edge products from leading suppliers in the industry. What I have to show you today can advance your system by leaps and bounds ensuring that you stay at the head of the pack when it comes to technology.

The first device I want to show you today comes by way of Grayhill, Inc. in the form of a software development kit (SDK). The Touch Encoder SDK is a complete development platform that contains the touchscreen display encoder as well as the programmer. Once powered you can connect to an iPad via the GIIB (Grayhill Instinct Interface Builder) App and easily program your encoder for your specific application.

What Benefits Does an Encoder Have Over Traditional Switches?

The Grayhill Touch Encoder replaces many user input devices such as switches, keypads, pushbuttons, and displays with one simple-to-use interface. With the ability to program and customize to fit your specific needs, you can store hundreds of custom screens, incorporate pictures, and utilize different gestures (tap, swipe, and turn); essentially incorporating all your input devices into one slick device.

The second item I want to cover today is from a relatively new supplier to Digi-Key called Neonode. Neonode offers a very unique touch sensing device called the zForce AIR Touch Sensor. The zForce AIR Touch Sensor uses infrared sensing in the form of an array of emitters and receivers. This combination creates an active area that, once an object is present, affects the emitter-receiver channels and relays coordinates based on the result of a center of gravity calculation.

What makes this product extraordinary is the ability to make any surface into a touch-enabled surface. But it’s not just surfaces, the zForce AIR Touch Sensor allows for touch sensing in mid-air. There are options available in various lengths (for different size surfaces or areas) and with two integration options (horizontal or vertical).

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About this author

Image of Randy Restle

Randall Restle, Vice President of Applications Engineering at Digi-Key Electronics is responsible for assessing, designing and directing a team of skilled application engineers, technicians and management personnel to lead Digi-Key’s technical strategy of serving customers in the selection and use of advanced technology products. He joined Digi-Key in 2011 after 35 years in engineering, designing digital and analog circuitry, printed circuit boards and embedded software.  Randall holds BSEE, MS and MBA degrees from the University of Cincinnati. He is also a Senior Member of the IEEE, has been a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio, a Certified Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute and is the inventor on several patents.

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