Technology Trends & Vision

The Impact of Seamless Technology on Future Product Designs

Beginning of January at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, technology enthusiasts have collected so many impressions that it will most likely be enough for the rest of the entire year. So it will be hard to pick the one or the other technology to talk about in more detail. Here is one that we think is worth mentioning, because it might change the future of many applications.

Aito and Piezo Technology

Aito BV, a spin off from a Dutch company producing piezo keyboards, on its booth impressed many visitors of the trade fair with its unique technology. The company’s products and solutions are based on software enhanced piezo technology (SEP). But what does that mean? This technology utilizes the best properties of piezoelectricity in combination with highly advanced control software to create a new touch technology . For those who are not familiar with piezoelectricity: Simply said, mechanical stress accumulates electric charge in certain solid materials, such as crystals or certain ceramics. In other words, electricity is resulting from pressure.

touch technology
Aito Touch Technology (Source: Aito)

Numerous Design Possibilities

Aito utilizes this technology for the development of their products, which in turn can have a ground-breaking influence for future application designs. Aito offers three different product families which are based on the AitoChip microcontroller (MCU). These MCUs are programmable with a specific software with distinctive features. AitoTouch, AitoHapticTouch and AitoTouchLE can therefore be used for different purposes. You just need to configure or adjust touch, sound, light and feedback with the easy-to-use design tool.

Aito chip
AitoChip microcontroller (Source: Aito)

The benefits of Aito Touch are numerous. Just to mention a few, the AitoChip can be mounted on almost any possible material. A piezo element will be mounted on the back-side of the product’s surface material between two layers, whereas the surface layer remains very thin (max. 1,2mm). Such a seamless fabrication allows on the one hand modern design opportunities and longer design life cycles, and on the other hand offers reliability in harsh environments. In addition also imagine how easy the surface can be cleaned when no physical buttons will be needed anymore.

LG Electronics deploys Aito Touch

As you might imagine, application areas of Aito products can be various. It can be mounted in consumer electronics, industrial devices or in home appliances. As one of the first premium manufacturers, LG Electronics Inc. announced that it has deployed Aito’s Touch technology for a premium suite of kitchen appliances. Those were shown for the first time at the CES 2016 in Las Vegas and not only attracted the attention of the visitors. They were even selected as a CES Innovation Honoree for 2016. Applications like refrigerators, ovens, hobs or coffee machines can be equipped with Aito’s metal touch buttons. Furthermore, in the medical environment this unique technology can come into play, when there is a specifically high demand for reliability and hygiene. Also in the industrial sector AitoTouch captivates through security and robustness. The buttons still function when the person working with the device is wearing gloves.

The list can almost be extended at will. We keep an eye on applications that will be equipped with this unique technology in the future and will of course let you know.

Since about two years already, EBV is partner of Aito selling its products to customers. And if we made you curious about this innovative and unique technology, you can order your own evaluation kits at EBV. Just contact your local EBV office and start building your own application.