Zytronic’s all-weather projected capacitive touch sensors have helped the city of Greensboro, North Carolina, breathe new life into its downtown area. The durable interactive technology has provided the user interface to thirteen double-sided, 55in public information terminals, which look and work like giant sized smartphones. The municipality has deployed the kiosks to give timely information to passers-by, such as nearby restaurants, local retail promotions, regional events, and even public transportation.
Like many cities, visitors tended to visit one or two places that they were familiar with, and then leave the city without learning what else the area had to offer. The CityPost kiosks complement the local government’s Smart Corridor initiative, helping locals and tourists navigate their surroundings and discover new points of interest.
The CityPost smart kiosks deliver real-time content regarding the locality and help raise public awareness of nearby events, local businesses, and transportation options. In addition, they are free Wi-Fi hotspots, further encouraging engagement. Another feature is a ‘selfie’ camera that can send the snapped image straight to the user’s smartphone via a free to download CityPost app.
Nanov Displays, a global LCD hardware manufacturer of information displays and kiosks, designed and built the double-sided smart kiosks. For the 55in touchscreens, Nanov selected Zytronic’s projected capacitive technology (PCT and MPCT) for its high reliability, especially in outdoor applications.
Each CityPost unit uses two 55in ZyBrid touch sensors together with a pair of Zytronic ZXY100 touch controllers. As the smart kiosks are located outdoors and in largely unsupervised areas, each one is made from 5mm thick, thermally toughened glass. A feature of the Zytronic touch sensors is their ability to function effectively through thick overlaying material, and still accurately respond to a touch, even from a gloved hand, yet remain unaffected by rainwater or dirt on the screen surface. In this case, Nanov placed a further piece of 5mm thick toughened glass over each touch sensor to create a 10mm impact resistant barrier between potential vandals and the valuable LCD and electronics beneath.
“Zytronic’s interactive touchscreens are renowned for their reliable performance in the harshest conditions – come thunderstorm, blizzard, heatwave or hurricane,” says Myungkune Moon, SVP Operations at Nanov Displays. “The extremely sensitive ZyBrid technology enabled us to create the ultimate user experience, providing millisecond fast, accurate touch response and supporting simple gesture controls, such as swipes, even when the user is wearing gloves.”
Zytronic’s vertically integrated manufacturing facilities produce the touch sensors completely in-house; starting from the raw glass sheets which are cut, shaped, printed, toughened and sometimes bent, before being converted into fully functional touch panels within its ISO class 5 cleanrooms. Zytronic has two decades of experience in producing durable, custom solutions.
“Engaging with the public in any ‘smart city’ project requires the kiosks to be intuitive, fun and functional and above all, reliable in all weather conditions,” says Karl Turkel, Chief Creative Officer at Smart City Media. “Zytronic’s touch sensors are the natural choice for such publicly accessible applications, enabling both tourists and Greensboro’s residents alike to use the kiosks to access a wealth of local, current information.”
Since the installation of the CityPost kiosks, South Elm Street has become a more vibrant mixed-use area and has blossomed into one of the locality’s favourite places for people to enjoy.