Paul van Gerven
21 June

TNO at Holst Centre and Japanese chemical company Asahi Kasei have come up with an entirely new concept for touchless user interface displays. Using a printed copper-grid bottom electrode from Asahi Kasei, Holst Centre developed a near-infrared-sensitive transparent image sensor that can be integrated into various commercially available displays to equip them with a penlight or gesture-controlled UI. The new concept has recently been published in Nature Electronics.

Holst Centre gesture recognition demo
Credit: Holst Centre

The currently available touchless user interfaces typically rely on near-infrared cameras. However, such systems are often hampered by a limited field of view and high-accuracy calibration requirements. The touchless UI now demonstrated is based on a visually transparent NIR-sensitive organic photodetector array and can be used on top of a display. Optical transparency is achieved using a printed copper grid as a bottom transparent conductive electrode and an array of patterned organic photodetector subpixels.

“Combining the technology of Asahi Kasei with our expertise and know-how of design has significantly advanced the application domain of touchless interfaces. The excellent transparency and ease of scalability enables its use with a variety of different displays including ATMs, electric signage and interactive whiteboards – without size limitations and calibration requirements,” says Albert van Breemen, program manager at Holst Centre.