Beginning as early as next year, you could see ultrasonic-powered touchscreen devices available for sale. The touchscreen manufacturer UltraSense Systems recently revealed that it has finalized its ultrasonic sensor, which it says is capable of powering smartphones and other mobile devices.
What Is an Ultrasonic Touchscreen?
Ultrasonic touchscreens, as the name suggests, are smartphones, tablets and other touchscreen devices that rely on ultrasonic sound waves to detect touch commands. It’s a relatively new type of touchscreen technology that’s still in the early stages of being rolled out. Like other types of touchscreen devices, ultrasonic touchscreens are capable of identifying, as well as responding to, touch commands. They are unique, however, because they use ultrasonic sound waves.
In a typical ultrasonic touchscreen, ultrasonic sound waves are projected across the display surface. Touching the display surface will then block the sound waves in the area of your touch command. The touchscreen controller will detect this blockage, at which point it will respond with the appropriate command.
While other types of touchscreens rely on capacitance or pressure to identify touch commands, ultrasonic touchscreens use sound waves. The sound waves are blasted across the display surface, and when a touch occurs, the controller is able to pinpoint its location.
About the New Ultrasonic Touchscreen Sensors
UltraSense Systems is hoping to revolutionize the ultrasonic touchscreen market with its new ultrasonic sensor. According to the manufacturer, its newly designed sensors are about the same size as the tip of a pen. As a result, they can be installed in any type of touchscreen device, including small devices like smartphones and tablet computers.
When speaking about the new sensors, Mo Maghsoudnia explained that the way in which people interact with their devices has evolved. Digital buttons have replaced mechanical buttons, with more users today opting for surface gesture controls.
“We have seen a shift in the way we interact with our devices, where digital has replaced mechanical, and the move to virtual buttons and surface gestures is accelerating,” said the UltraSense Systems’s Mo Maghsoudnia.
Of course, there are both advantages and disadvantages associated with ultrasonic touchscreens. Ultrasonic touchscreens, for example, are highly responsive. You don’t need to press or tap the display interface forcefully. On the contrary, a light-pressure touch should trigger the appropriate touch command. With that said, ultrasonic touchscreens are susceptible to contamination. If the dirt or debris accumulates on the display interface, it may restrict the device’s ability to register touch commands.