Designers working on small systems such as mobile phones, portable digital entertainment (PDE) devices, remote controls, and digital cameras face major challenges in design and usability as consumers demand even smaller form factors, a better user experience and increased functionality and storage capacity. As a result, designers are migrating toward the extra UI space resistive touchscreens (RTS) offer. This particular sensor is a widely available commodity technology. Even with the extra space RTSs provide, however, embedded designers still face issues stemming from RTS limitations. The two most pressing of these issues are impairment of the optics of the underlying display and poor durability.

This paper discusses a more efficient and reliable alternative to RTS: a thin, transparent, capacitive sensor touchscreen called “Clearpad.” Embedded designers can place Clearpad over any viewable surface for input and navigation. In addition to being ultra-thin, the touchscreen can be integrated beneath a protective display lens or directly laminated onto the display.