Tactile control provides blind operation for touchscreens

Rafi has added tactile control to its Glasscape industrial touchscreens in applications that require the operator’s constant attention. The Flexscape One and Flexscape Wheel control elements are integrated directly into the touchscreen surface, enabling safe blind operation, explains Rafi.

The Flexscape One pushbutton is used for tactile switching. It is activated by touch and requires a threshold pressure to trigger actuation. Actuation is confirmed by distinctive haptic and acoustic feedback.

The Flexscape Wheel rotary button enables users to select functions or set parameters according to context. Featuring regular indentations, the circular finger guidance provides haptic orientation without looking. Compatible geometries mean that both control elements can also be combined into one element covering all functions for additional operating safety, says Rafi. For example, customers can specify that functions or values selected by wheel must be confirmed by pressing the button.

Rafi equips its touchscreens with several Flexscape elements anywhere on the closed glass surface according to customer specifications. Adding the tactile control does not effect performance; the touchscreen keeps its high degrees of resilience and ingress protection, since the actuators are fixed without cut-outs or holes in the surface. Additional diagnostic electronics are not required. No elaborate surface preparation is required for Flexscape to represent a a low-cost alternative to milled contours, confirms Rafi.

Rafi was founded in 1900. It develops and produces electromechanical components such as pushbuttons and switches, operating systems such as touchscreens, keyboards, electronic components, and systems for man-machine communication. The company’s products are employed in more than 30 industries, including medical equipment, mechanical engineering, road and railway vehicles, household appliances and telecommunications.

The Rafi group operates internationally with approximately 2,500 employees at 10 sites in Germany, Europe, China, and the USA.

The group’s headquarters are located in Berg (Baden-Württemberg, Germany).


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