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Zytronic touchscreens and Operating System (OS) compatibility

19 May 2016

At Zytronic we aim to make choosing, integrating and using our PCT™ and MPCT™ sensors as easy as possible. To do this we’ve made sure that our technology is customisable and adaptable; not only in the screens you see and touch, but crucially also in the hidden electronics and user interface software that we create.

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Our R&D team are constantly working to ensure our proprietary touch controllers are compatible with the latest operating systems (OS’s), and make sure the associated firmware and software is user friendly as we can make.

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Windows Plug & Play

 

Our entire touch controller range (ZXY100, ZXY110, ZXY150, ZXY200 and ZXY300) has native ‘plug-and-play’ support for almost all commonly used OS’s using their in-built Human Interface Device (HID) drivers. Furthermore, to enable users to access and tune our touch controller settings to suit each individual application, we’ve created a freely downloadable “ZyConfig™” – a combination of invaluable features unavailable with alternative touch technologies.

As a result it is easy to tune the touch controller firmware directly, so that sensitivity, ‘noise’ filters, glass overlay thickness, gloved hand operability, etc. can be quickly changed to suit the requirements of use..

Popular multi-touch user interface software packages, such as Touchtech’s Lima, Omnivision’s Omnitapps and Nuiteq’s Snowflake, have also been jointly checked and approved for use.

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Penguin Power

We are seeing ever greater demand from our touchscreen customer for Linux compatibility. From a developers perspective the Linux OS is an attractive option. It is freely available, configurable and offers greater flexibility than Windows based software.

However the ability to customise the OS presents its own problems, due to the large amount of different Linux variants available.

From a touchscreen perspective, the electronics that the Linux OS is running on (i.e. ARM, X86, MIPS) and the software kernel version, i.e.  3.9.0, 3.5.1, 2.6.28, are crucial pieces of information

For example its worth remembering that:

  • Linux kernels from 2.6.28 supports 1 touch only;
  • Kernels from 3.5.1 supports 2 touch and limited multi touch (10 touches max);
  • Kernels from 3.9.0 supports full multi touch (40+ touches)

Over the years we have collaborated with the global Linux community and they have tested and approved our touchscreens  building native HID support into the more recent kernels noted above.

Our dedicated R&D team remain on-hand to assist Linux developers and users to work towards effective, reliable solutions.

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“I Robot”

Android is becoming increasingly popular OS as system integrators are attracted to the freely available operating system and critically the lower cost computing hardware that supports it. As a result, it is spreading rapidly beyond handheld consumer electronic devices to commercial applications, such as digital signage systems and other self-service hardware.

There are multiple ‘flavours’ of Android and the computing hardware running it can be different in each case, so setting up the OS to work with a specific touch sensor and controller requires a level of  software configuration knowledge, which not all companies have..

As a result, we’ve created an Android ‘App’ which can be freely downloaded onto the system which  unpacks itself negating the need for Android ‘expert’, and reduces the customers set-up to a quick, simple orientation and calibration process.

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Zytronic “zyConfig” tool

In order to help make the setting up of our single/dual touch PCT™ and multi-touch MPCT™ touchscreens as straightforward as possible, we’ve created our ZyConfig™ smart set-up tool.

This small and freely downloadable piece of software provides a simple to follow sequential approach walking the touchscreen integrator through the installation process step by step, so that optimal performance is ensured from the outset and time-consuming errors and support calls are avoided.

Once started, the software quickly guides the user through a series of clear set-up stages. Firstly the ZyConfig™ software automatically scans touchscreen and controller to check integrity and stability of the system on a number of factors, such as system ambient system electromagnetic interference (‘noise’) levels, . This auto-check is an invaluable diagnostic tool for engineers and technicians integrating the touchscreens to an LCD display.

The next step involves a basic set up routine where the user touches defined points displayed on the screen. This optimises the touchscreen controller sensitivity settings, detecting ambient EMI and adjusting the “noise” filters to suit, and determining appropriate responsiveness to an applied touch without the need for the user to manually set any complex parameters. Finally, a simple touch calibration follows to ensure the controller coordinates are mapped corrected to the LCD image on the screen. At this point, the set-up is effectively complete, and should have taken less than a couple of minutes to carry out. For those wanting final verification of the touchscreen function, a test page is also available. This allows the operative to test the touch functionality is working correctly.

 

Our generic touchscreen set-up tools can be freely downloaded from our website, for further information please get in touch

 

 

 

 

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