Statum PMatrix Multi-Touch Technology: Resistive That’s Better Than Capacitive

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Stantum’s tag-line is “The pioneer of Multi-touch technologies since 2002”. The company is based in Bordeaux, France and has another office in Meudon. Stantum’s PMatrix Multi-touch Technology was recently showcased via a video on Engadget and the author of the blog, Paul Miller, declared it “mind-blowing”. So, I thought I should investigate a bit and find out myself. Stantum’s PMatrix multi-touch technology is based on resistive technology that is much cheaper to manufacture than capacitive technology.

Typically, resistive technology was less accurate, interfered with the LCD’s image quality, and could not do multi-touch. Capacitive technology, on the other hand, was very accurate, did not mess with the image quality on the LCD and did multi-touch. The best example of a device with capacitive technology-based multi-touch capabilities is Apple’s iPhone. What Stantum did with resistive technology is quite impressive.

Stantum’s touch layer on top of the LCD is composed of a top PET, spacer dots and a bottom glass. PET (can be also PETE), in this usage, stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate and is the most popular plastic in the world for these reasons: inexpensive, lightweight, shatter-resistant, recyclable, clear, good moister and gas barrier properties. The top PET has the ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) columns. The spacer dots are sandwiched between the top PET and the bottom glass to make sure the gap between the two plates are even. The bottom glass has the ITO rows coated on it. Read more about it here.

Mate this touch layer with a multi-touch capable controller with software algorithms and you get the PMatrix Multi-touch Technology that elevates resistive touch technology to better than capacitive. Imagine Apple’s iPhone with Stantum’s technology that lets you use all of your fingers to do anything on the LCD while bringing down the cost of the touch LCD and hopefully the cost of the iPhone itself. I can imagine much larger LCDs with superb multi-touch accuracy for not a lot of money in the near future.

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