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Power Electronics

ART and Cirque co-market automotive touchpad input device

ART Advanced Recognition Technologies and Cirque Corporation are co-marketing touchpad solutions that can be embedded in an automobile dashboard or console. The solutions combine ART's simpliWrite handwriting recognizer and Cirque's single-chip GlidePoint touchpad technology to provide fingertip character input.

"The two technologies have proven to be compatible and complimentary. Building an application that can be customized for the unique environment of an automobile seemed to be a natural evolution for us," says Yakov Shulman, acting CEO and vice president of sales for ART.

Doug Moore, Cirque's VP of Input Solutions, says his firm uses a two-layer grid of electrodes connected to a custom chip or ASIC to track finger motion at any speed with no lag time. “As the user passes a finger over the grid, the capacitance between the electrodes changes, causing the computer to follow the motion of the finger. The sensor can be exposed to the environment or embedded within the dash materials,” he explains, adding, "The automobile can clearly benefit from touchpad technology. The ability to control various interior and comfort system functions and to enter data or commands with the motion of a finger promises to open up a wide range of new applications."

The simpliWrite software engine is a natural character recognizer designed for "on-the-fly" recognition of each character with minimal writing-area requirements. Thus, according to Shulman, it’s ideal for small form-factor platforms such as the tight space of a car's console or armrest. The simpliWrite software recognizes uppercase and lowercase letters, supports rapid writing, and uses little processing power or memory.

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