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KYOCERA’s New “HAPTIVITY® i” Revolutionizes Human-Machine Interface (HMI)

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.

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