Whether it be a smartphone, tablet PC, computer monitor, notebook, or navigation system, the desirability of such consumer electronics is greatly enhanced by having a touchscreen interface.
There are a number of different touchscreen technologies available, and SCHOTT is the only technical glass manufacturer that can offer a family of touch panel glasses that can meet all the requirements of the touchscreen market. The new glass range will be launched under the brand name "Xensation", at the world's largest display technology conference, SID Display Week 2011 (May 15 - 20), in Los Angeles, California.
A recent market report by the research group at DIGITIMES highlighted some notable statistics: Approximately forty percent of all current mobile devices have touchscreens, and it is anticipated that with the current double-digit annual growth rate, the adoption of touchscreens will only increase. There are currently four core technologies that allow direct interaction with what is being displayed: The so-called "resistive" touchscreens respond to pressure where two electrically conductive layers are pushed together.
"Capacitive" panels have a conductive coating, and use a change in an electric field to locate the point of contact. "Surface Acoustic Wave" or SAW touchscreens use ultrasonic sound waves that pass over the screen to determine touch position, and "optical" panels are based on an infrared light detection system.
Each of these technologies is suitable for a different type of display application, but each calls for glass materials with specific properties. The new SCHOTT "Xensation" family provides a complete range of solutions from a single supplier.
"We are the only manufacturer that can supply glass types for the whole range of cover and touch applications," said Prof. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the SCHOTT AG Board. "To support this growing market, SCHOTT has established a Cover & Touch flat glass center of excellence. This brings together 125 years of glass development and production experience, combined with German engineering know-how"
The "Xensation" brand represents a range of high quality flat glass types:
- "Xensation" Cover 3D glass is a chemically strengthened, thin lithium aluminosilicate glass for capacitive systems, manufactured using float technology. As a cover glass, it is widely used in the displays of smartphones or tablet PCs, providing a surface that is visually attractive, and extremely scratch and break resistant. The unusually low transition temperature (Tg = 506 degrees Celsius) allows the efficient production of sophisticated three-dimensional glass formats.
- "Xensation" Touch glass is chemically resistant and withstands environmental damage. This high transparent borosilicate glass is suitable for resistive touch panels, as proven by its use in millions of car navigation systems. It can be supplied in a thickness down to 0.03 Millimetres and is considered the world's thinnest glass of its kind.
- "Xensation"Look glass has good transmission characteristics, especially in the infrared, as well as the visible spectrum. This borosilicate glass is therefore well suited for use in optical touchscreens, such as notebooks.
- Finally, the "Xensation" Sound clear crown glass has the qualities of high transparency, and surface durability making it ideal for SAW touch panels, especially in large format displays.
In addition to this new glass range, this center of excellence at SCHOTT can provide expertise and technical support across the entire supply chain, from modifying glass formulations to suit different manufacturing processes, to consulting with the various manufacturing partners to achieve optimal process integration, and the development of future products. SCHOTT has rapidly increased its presence in Asia to ensure its close proximity to customers in the cover and touch market.