New twist for human machine interfaces

AUTHOR: Inavate

A remote that can be bent and twisted to control displays was developed by Murata Manufacturing in an effort to answer demands for new human/machine interfaces. The company worked with Kansai University and Mitsui Chemicals to develop sensor devices from organic piezoelectric film. The material can also be used to create touch devices that are sensitive to varying levels of pressure.

The film has been used to create the Leaf Grip Remote, a prototype device that controls a TV using a bending and twisting motion. The researchers also created a “touch pressure pad”, a touch panel that can detect pressure.

Batteries are not required for the Leaf Grip Remote that uses pigments to discharge electrons when it receives light. A photovoltaic cell was employed to convert the light into electricity.

The touch panel has been demonstrated using touch pressure to enlarge data. Pressing the panel with strong force makes data enlarge quickly, and a weaker force slows down the transformation.

Murata says the breakthrough with the high transparency piezoelectric film is down to removing a pyroelectric effect. This effect usually means the film cannot detect bending and twisting vibrations separately from changes in temperature.