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News section > Consumer Electronics

Covid-19 turns public terminal makers away from touchscreens

2020-06-03 Editor:Super administratorSource:Original


“This is an issue where medical instrument designers are taking a lead but it will permeate through to the design of all user interfaces in the workplace as well as retail,” Anglia technical director David Pearson told electronics Weekly. “Touch screens in the past were seen as hygienic because they are easy to clean, and there wasn’t a particular concern with standing next to the patient to operate them.”

Other human-machine interfaces exist, but the success of touchscreens has meant little need for them outside the home or specialist applications.

“What’s new here is the approach not the technology,” said Pearson. “User interfaces need to be rethought to increase distancing and reduce the need for touch. Customers are looking at voice control – often using consumer devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home paired with a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth link.”

Another possibility, said Pearson, particularly in medical settings and other controlled environments, is implementing the user interface on the user’s allocated phone or tablet using an app which wirelessly pairs with the equipment-in-use.Gesture recognition is another possibility for more general use, with Anglia suggesting time-of-flight sensors as the detection technology alongside a display.

“We’re working with customers on new ways of thinking, and holding their hands on technologies that they haven’t worked with before,” said Pearson.

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