KYOCERA Corporation (President and CEO: Hideo Tanimoto) today unveiled its HAPTIVITY® i human-machine interface (HMI) technology — a hybrid innovation combining its patented HAPTIVITY® touch technology with IMSETM, a patented 3D injection-molded structural electronics technology from TactoTek Oy (CEO: Jussi Harvela). The result lets designers create HMI solutions in a vast range of 3D shapes, with thinner form factors, fewer components, improved vibration resistance, and significantly reduced weight. Additionally, because they are fully integrated and seamless, HAPTIVITY® i solutions offer an interface that is reliable, durable, protected from debris and moisture, and easy to clean.
■ Technology Background
Kyocera’s original HAPTIVITY® technology employs piezoelectric elements, a vibration amplification mechanism, a control circuit, and proprietary software to transmit vibration through a panel or display surface when touched and pressed. Biomechanically engineered vibration waveforms can replicate real tactile sensations by stimulating neural mechanoreceptors in the user’s fingertip — allowing the user to “feel” physical buttons, for example, and press them, on a panel where no physical buttons exist.
TactoTek’s IMSETM technology integrates printed electronic circuitry and electronic components within 3D injection-molded plastics, providing structure, electronic functions, and cosmetics in one seamless, single-piece, smart surface. Integrated functions commonly include capacitive touch sensing, illumination, and wireless connectivity. Compared to traditional electronics, IMSETM reduces part-wall thickness up to 95%, diminishing plastics use and component weight up to 80%, and producing 34% less CO2 emissions “cradle to gate” (from raw material extraction to ready-made products).
The combination promises unprecedented design flexibility and seamless user interfaces. Also, by eliminating wasteful production material and assembly requirements, HAPTIVITY® i will help realize eco-friendly HMI solutions for applications demanding high performance, such as vibration-proof structures for automotive controls and easy-to-clean interfaces for consumer products and smart home systems.
■ HAPTIVITY® i Features
1. Thin, seamless 3D design enables new HMI devices
Integrating Kyocera’s unique HAPTIVITY® technology into a form factor thinned with IMSE technology creates an alternative to conventional mechanical buttons or a flat touch-panel, resulting in a seamless 3D design that dramatically enhances the user experience.
2. Combining HAPTIVITY® and IMSETM reduces components and labor
Conventional HMI technology involves a complex bill of materials that must be procured from multiple suppliers and assembled. In contrast, HAPTIVITY® i will offer designers the potential to integrate decorative elements, lighting, touch switches, pressure sensors, tactile actuators and other components into a single module, greatly reducing procurement, assembly and labor requirements.
Kyocera will continue to develop modules equipped with HAPTIVITY® i, integrated with a wide range of other Kyocera products and technologies to advance cutting-edge HMI applications. For more information on how HAPTIVITY® i technology can support your HMI requirements, please contact Kyocera at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyocera Corporation (TOKYO:6971, https://global.kyocera.com/), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”). By combining these engineered materials with metals and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of industrial and automotive components, semiconductor packages, electronic devices, smart energy systems, printers, copiers, and mobile phones. During the year ended March 31, 2021, the company’s consolidated sales revenue totaled 1.5 trillion yen (approx. US$13.8 billion). Kyocera is ranked #603 on Forbes magazine’s 2021 “Global 2000” list of the world’s largest publicly traded companies, and has appeared on The Wall Street Journal’s list of “The World’s 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies.”
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