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How can I add touch to a segment display?

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Apr 12, 2016

This is the third in a series of three blogs exploring advances in segment display technology and showing how it remains a real alternative to TFT displays. Previously we explored adding colour and improving the contrast.

Just like a TFT, a segment display can go beyond the simple display of information to providing interactivity through touch using in-cell touch technology.

How can I add touch to a segment display?

With the advent of in-cell touch technology, it is now possible to integrate conductive indium-tin oxide (ITO) traces and capacitive touch sensors directly into the display to implement soft keys. This can be achieved without needing an overlay, thereby saving the extra cost of the overlay and also ensuring optimum contrast and general visual performance. Up to around 20 touch sensors can be integrated this way.

Engineers at Anders Electronics have successfully integrated in-cell touch sensing in a number of customer projects, and are currently refining the techniques to create robust processes suitable for high-volume production.

The segment display has been a workhorse of user-facing electronics for generations. Despite the arrival of new and apparently more attractive display technologies, they remain popular, and continue to be designed into new projects. An enduring attraction is that design-in is typically less challenging than for a TFT-LCD, especially with the help of a specialist distribution partner, to help even the most resource-constrained projects achieve a high-quality end result.

We hope with this series of blogs we have shown how you can explore many new avenues to communicate more intuitively and deliver memorable user experiences without moving to a full graphical display.

Contact our experts for more information about vertical alignment or other display technologies.

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