Swiss input system specialist Algra Group has made demo kits of its Dynaforce strain gauge technology available for prototyping projects, with the sensors specifically developed to work on more atypical surfaces such as metal, glass and even wood.
“The strain gauge technology recognizes even the smallest deformations in the material layer,” explained Dieter Matter, CEO of the Algra Group. “This is enough to activate the button and trigger a function.”
This functionality is achieved through the use of processing software and a sensor network made up of strain gauges. The company notes that the sensors are extremely touch-sensitive and are capable of functioning on sheet thicknesses of 0.3-1.2mm. Additionally, as the system relies on force sensors, functions can be differentiated based on the force exerted upon the sensor.
The developer kit includes a demo module with optical, acoustic and haptic feedback. Once connected to a PC, the keys respond to the touch of a finger on the demo unit’s 1mm-thick aluminum front. The kit also includes Algra’s DesignStudio software, which enables users to assess the effectiveness of every keystroke.