zForce Technology Overview
zForce® (zero Force) touch technology is the brand name for Neonode’s product line of innovative optical sensing technologies. It provides a number of major advantages over traditional touch and proximity technologies such as capacitive, resistive, infrared or camera based solutions. With zForce technology, any type of display or surface of any shape can be touch enabled, even concave surfaces. It can also be applied to enable touch in mid-air. zForce products work with any type of touch object such as a finger, a stylus, a fingernail, a glove or a ordinary pen. It can be made waterproof and is fully functional even when submerged, compared to capacitive touch that do not work under water.
zForce technology consists of a set of light emitters and detectors, an optical light guide with lenses and a touch controller IC that is connected to a host. The host run Neonode´s proprietary embedded software stack and are connected to the touch controller(s). The touch controller IC regulates the light emitters and they send out short pulses of light just above the touch surface (or into a glass or fluid). The touch controller continuously monitor the light that is collected by the detectors and check the ambient light scene and try to calibrate the system to work in all light conditions. When a slight intensity shift of the received light occur the software try to find what has happen and initiate tracking of the object that is on the surface. The size and position of the touch object (i.e. a finger) is reported back to the host. By combining the measured value from a number of detectors, the touch position and object size are calculated. Compensations are also made for dust, wear out and other small particles on the optical surfaces as well as for variation in component quality.
With zForce technology enabled touch screens you enjoy complete freedom of design as there is no requirement for a layered glass or plastic film that overlay the display surface. The result is a 100 per cent optical transparency window with consistent image quality and no glare combined with industry’s lowest cost.
Being light based means that zForce almost is immune to electrical noise and other electrical conducted interferences and strong RF sources. Our touch controller IC the NN1002, use sophisticated hardware filtering in combination with the optical and software filtering to achieve a system that is completely immune to ambient light and other strong light sources. zForce technology has a touch resolution of more than 200 DPI which enables precision writing with thin objects such as a pen or a stylus. It is developed to operate in extended temperature range, from -40°C to +85°C making it ideal for harsh environments and automotive applications such as infotainment systems and steering wheels.