Zytronic reveals a new dimension in touchscreens for gaming machines

Curved multi-touch screen capability opens the door to next generation of casino game hardware

Blaydon on Tyne, (PresseBox) - At the G2E exhibition in Las Vegas [Booth # 4012], Zytronic is showcasing touchscreen technology that is enabling the next generation of gaming machines for casinos and other entertainment venues. Zytronic's touch sensors have been widely used in the gaming and leisure industries for many years, in slot machines, video juke boxes, wagering and video lottery terminals (VLT's) and more recently in multiplayer gaming tables, but the company's latest multi-touch projected capacitive (MPCT(TM) ) touch technology, together with other innovations, are enabling the development of new machines that deliver an exciting player experience. The demonstration at G2E of a customized curved 32-inch multi-touch screen hints at the possibilities game hardware designers have with the technology.

Touchscreens are already ubiquitous in the gaming industry. The compelling combination of bright, dynamic displays and intuitive touch operation means that players are familiar using the technology. In recent years, many of the touchscreens used in gaming cabinets have been 17-22 inch bezelled widescreen displays in twin-screen cabinets; the upper screen is typically used for information display only, and the lower screen forms the touch interactive player surface. However, this style of cabinet is now so widespread, game developers are increasingly seeking to differentiate their cabinets through design innovation, moving to iPad style all-glass fronted units. These feature increasingly large displays, using transparent displays or LCDs with cut-outs, replacing the mechanical button-deck with a touchscreen interface, and now even incorporating curved LCDs into the games to create attractive, organic designs. However, the innovations in appearance and performance must always be coupled with high levels of display and touchscreen durability and reliability to ensure that the games are consistently generating revenue for operators and avoiding the maintenance cost and customer dissatisfaction arising from unplanned downtime.

On show for the first time in Zytronic's booth is a concept unit combining a 32-inch convex curved, multi-touch screen, with additional customizations in the form of printed soft keys or touch buttons outside of the display area, simulating a button deck. In a marketplace where novelty and product differentiation are crucial, the purpose of this demonstration unit is to highlight to designers of gaming cabinets the almost limitless levels of customization possible. A short preview video of the unit can be seen here.

Among the other examples of touchscreens that are being showcased by Zytronic are a variety of customized screens including a 55-inch multi-touch table, capable of detecting up to 40 independent simultaneous touches, making it suitable for multiplayer games such as roulette. As all the touchscreens are based on Zytronic's proprietary projected capacitive touch technology (PCT(TM) ), their thick, toughened all-glass fronted designs feature the native resilience that enables them to withstand severe impacts, scratching and resistance to liquid spills. A useful feature common to all Zytronic touchscreens is the "palm rejection" function built into their controllers, which helps to recognize and eliminate false touches from players leaning on slant top or table games, and will not react to inanimate objects, such as glasses, sleeves or ties touching the screen.

The high degree of robustness exhibited by Zytronic's sensors means that, unlike conventional touch technologies, they are proven for use in even the most physically demanding of operational environments, including unattended, outdoor deployments. The PCT(TM) touch technology used is sensitive to the lightest touch, accurate, offers millisecond response times whilst still able to detect touch events through a thick layer of protective glass. The combination of a high performance, durable touch screen, readily customizable in sizes up to 84 inches is of great benefit to gaming hardware developers seeking to differentiate their cabinet designs and player interfaces.

Zytronic

Zytronic is the developer and manufacturer of a unique range of internationally award-winning touch sensor products. These products employ an embedded sensing element and are based around projected capacitive technology (PCT(TM) ) sensing. PCT offers significant durability, environmental stability and optical enhancement benefits to system designers of touch interactive, industrial, self - service and public access equipment. During 2012, Zytronic developed new know-how to create mutual projected capacitive technology (MPCT(TM) ), which enables multi-user and multi touch sensing in ultra large form factor sizes up to 84".

Zytronic products are used in electronic displays for self service and information systems, ATMs and gaming machines, as well as by military, computer, telecommunications and medical OEMs, and are available from its network of worldwide distributors. The company has its headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Blaydon, Tyne & Wear in the UK. In addition to ISO-approved manufacturing, these facilities are home to Zytronic's team of lamination, material science and electronics specialists who are responsible for ongoing product development in composite technology.

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