In the News

Recent News about IntuiTek User Interface Products


Field-Effect Technology Selected as Finalist in Automotive Product Innovation

TouchSensor Technologies Field-Effect is nominated for the 2012 PACE awardsWheaton, IL, November 1, 2011 – TouchSensor Technologies Field-Effect switching technology has been selected as one of 24 finalists for the 2012 Automotive News PACE Awards. The PACE innovation awards (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence) are presented annually by Ernst & Young, the Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC, Inc), and Automotive News.

An independent panel of judges selected TouchSensor’s Field-Effect switching technology as a product innovation. The patented, software-free, solid-state switch enables reliable, user-friendly touch experiences.  TouchSensor products were introduced in the 2011 models of the Lincoln MKX, the Ford Edge and the Ford Explorer. In the 2013 model year, they will be available on the Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS and Lincoln MKT.

TouchSensor Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI), is a market leader in solid-state User-Interface and Fluid Sensing products. Since its inception in 1997, TouchSensor products have been successfully used by many of the world’s best brands in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications with nearly 200 million Field-Effect sensors sold. Please visit www.touchsensor.com to learn more.

Learn more about Field-Effect switching technology in this video from Engineering TV (note: There may be a short ad before the video on TouchSensor begins):


See related Field-Effect products!



TouchSensor™ Technologies Introduces Touch-Sensitive User Interface Products

Wheaton, IL, October 28, 2011 -- IntuiTek™ Modular Interface Components from TouchSensor™ Technologies introduce solid-state Field-Effect sensing technology in a family of electronic switch products that offer design and manufacturing professionals a choice of touch sensing devices for placement behind plastic or glass substrate panels. 

IntuiTek Modular Interface ComponentsModular Interface Components are the world’s first peel-and-stick, software-free touch input devices.   Programming and tooling costs are eliminated for designers and manufacturers who need to reduce development costs and to accelerate development cycles for products featuring finger touch switch controls.  IntuiTek Modular Interface Components utilize the same Field-Effect sensing technology used by automotive and white goods manufacturers and are now available to everyone involved in the design and fabrication process – including start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Touch input has been rapidly adopted by consumers as a natural user interface where point and touch gestures are used to interface with premium products.  IntuiTek Modular Interface Components offer designers and manufacturers the ability to quickly and efficiently provide their customers products with the touch interfaces that they prefer. 

Each low-voltage solid-state array incorporates TouchSensor's patented Field-Effect sensing technology that offers unmatched reliability.  The peel-and-stick modular arrays are UL Recognized Components and are available in 1x1, 1x2, 1x3 and 1x4 array configurations that are calibrated to work through either 2 mm thick plastic or 4 mm thick glass decorative input panels. LED lighting options include a green or amber single-point indicator light or white ring lighting for user feedback.  All input arrays include an interconnect and/or solder pad systems for design and manufacturing flexibility.

Field-Effect technology creates a low-power electric field that has the unique ability to sense human touch through non-conductive substrate materials such as plastic or glass.  When the sensor detects a finger on the other side of the substrate panel, it outputs a signal indicating the location that has been touched. 

Since its introduction in 1997, Field-Effect sensing technology has been successfully used in a wide variety of consumer applications with over 200 million units sold.  Field-Effect sensors have been tested to over 160 million cycles in user interface applications before ending test.  Field-Effect has earned the recognition as a proven and reliable solid-state switching technology.

About IntuiTek: For manufacturers and entrepreneurs that need finger touch, IntuiTek Modular Interface Components deliver your customers the touch interfaces that they prefer.  TouchSensor provides reliable and cost-effective switching solutions as demonstrated by over a decade of market leadership in solid-state sensing technology. Please visit http://www.intuitekproducts.com/components/ to learn more.

About TouchSensor Technologies, LLC:  TouchSensor Technologies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI), is a market leader in solid-state User-Interface and Fluid Sensing products. Since its inception in 1997, TouchSensor products have been successfully used by many of the world’s best brands in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications with nearly 200 million Field-Effect sensors sold. Please visit www.touchsensor.com to learn more.

About Methode Electronics, Inc.: Methode Electronics, Inc. (NYSE: MEI) is a global developer of custom engineered and application specific products and solutions with manufacturing, design and testing facilities in China, , Germany, India, Malta, Mexico, the Philippines, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Further information can be found at Methode's website at www.methode.com.


TouchSensor™ Technologies Launches IntuiTek™ Access / Control Touch-Input Keypad Product Line

Wheaton, IL, September 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ – IntuiTek™ User Interface Products from TouchSensor™ Technologies introduce solid-state Field-Effect sensing technology in a portfolio of architectural quality keypads for use in building automation, security, vending and kiosk applications.  The solid-state electronic design of Field-Effect technology is highly compatible with access control keypad applications, because it can reliably detect the presence of a human finger without the use of any moving parts to wear or fail.

IntuiTek Touch-Input Keypads are currently available in a 12-Key (3x4) Keypad configuration, with alternative input configurations planned as future offerings in 2011. IntuiTek Keypads are designed for indoor or outdoor installations, feature optional Matrix or RS-232 output configurations, include programmable audible and visual feedback for a customized user experience, and come in a variety of pre-selected decorative, vandal proof appearances, as well a build-it-yourself custom styled approach.

IntuiTek Keypads can be directly installed into front or rear-mount panel applications using drop-in replacement standard mounting-hole configurations, and also in NEMA Double-Gang electrical box wall installations using one of five pre-selected architectural quality, decorative metal trim rings and adaptor plate. Finishes include: Brushed Metal center keypad with optional Carbon Fiber, Champagne Checker, Cherry Wood, Dimpled Silver and Earthtone Strata decorative metal trim rings.  The keypad can be configured with either white or blue LED backlighting, and the decorative metal trim ring supplied for NEMA Double Gang mounted applications enhances the overall vandal-resistance of the keypad, and resonates with the visual and tactile aesthetics of its surrounding environment.

Field-Effect technology creates a low-power electric field that has the unique ability to sense human touch through non-conductive barrier materials such as plastic or glass.  When a touch-input event occurs, the sensor detects the presence of the finger and outputs a signal for the corresponding key position that has been touched.  Please visit http://www.IntuiTekProducts.com to learn more.  The MSRP of the IntuiTek Keypad Products begins at $110.

Since their introduction in 1997, Field-Effect sensing technology has been successfully used in a wide variety of consumer applications with over 200 million units sold.  In fluid detection applications, they have become the de facto standard in marine and recreational vehicle applications where fluid sensing, control, and monitoring are a critical need.  Field-Effect sensors in sump pump applications have been tested to 1.5 million cycles without failure, and to over 160 million cycles in user interface applications before ending test.  Field-Effect has earned the recognition as a proven, reliable, solid-state switching technology.

About TouchSensor Technologies, LLC:  TouchSensor Technologies is the market leader in solid-state Field-Effect switching technology.  TouchSensor has produced and shipped over four million input panels used in the consumer durables sector, including home appliances used for cooking, laundry, refrigeration, dishwashing, as well as bath/shower controls. Its technology is also used in commercial applications such as exercise equipment, point of sale beverage dispensers, and automotive applications. TouchSensor has more than 15 patents for its solid-state Field-Effect switching technology. Please visit www.TouchSensor.com to learn more.


TouchSensor™ Technologies Launches LevelGuard™ Pump Control Product Line

LevelGuard Home Sum ControlWheaton, IL, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- TouchSensor™ Technologies announced the introduction of the LevelGuard™ Home Sump Pump Control, which introduces solid-state Field-Effect sensing technology to the pump and plumbing industries.  LevelGuard Home Sump Controls use Field-Effect technology to detect the presence of water in residential sump pits without making direct contact with the fluid.  The LevelGuard Home Sump Control is used to "turn-on" and "turn-off" a residential sump pump with more reliable performance than the mechanical float switches they are designed to replace. 

"Sump pumps are in use more often than you might think.  More than 10% of all basements in the U.S. report some form of water leakage through the foundation. The proper operation of sump pump systems for homeowners is imperative”, states Dave Dzioba, TouchSensor’s Director of Standard Products. "Plumbers and basement waterproofing professionals report that conventional float switches are the weakest link in those systems.  With no moving parts to wear or fail, the LevelGuard™ Home Sump Pump Control switch becomes the most reliable element in the system.”

Field-Effect's low-power electric field has the unique ability to detect conductive fluids (for example, water) and semi-solid materials without having direct contact.  When water enters the LevelGuard field, the sensor detects its presence, determines its state, and activates the pump if needed. TouchSensor’s™ LevelGuard™ brand products utilizing Field-Effect sensing technology are well-suited for sump, lift station, underground vault, wet well and storm water fluid level management applications.

Since their introduction in 1997, Field-Effect sensing technology has been successfully used in a wide variety of consumer applications with nearly 200 million sensors sold.  In fluid detection applications, they have become the de facto standard in marine and recreational vehicle applications where fluid sensing, control, and monitoring are a critical need.  Field-Effect sensors in sump pump applications have been tested to 1.5 million cycles without failure, and to over 165 million cycles in user interface applications before ending test.  Field-Effect has earned the recognition as a proven, reliable, solid-state switching technology. 

The MSRP of the LevelGuard Home Sump Control is $115.  Both LevelGuard Home Sump Pump Controls and its patented Field-Effect sensing technology are Underwriters Laboratories listed.  The switch has a warranty of five (5) years against manufacturers defects.  Please visit www.LevelGuardProducts.com to learn more. 

About TouchSensor Technologies, LLC:  TouchSensor Technologies is the market leader in solid-state Field-Effect switching technology.  TouchSensor has produced and shipped over four million input panels used in the consumer durables sector, including home appliances used for cooking, laundry, refrigeration, dishwashing, as well as bath/shower controls. Its technology is also used in commercial applications such as exercise equipment, point of sale beverage dispensers, and automotive applications. TouchSensor has more than 15 patents for its solid-state Field-Effect switching technology. Please visit http://www.touchsensor.com to learn more.


December 2008 EngineeringTV
TouchCell Field-Effect Switch

Streamlining control and cockpit design while reducing operator distraction and fatigue is a major initiative among vehicle designers and manufacturers. TouchSensor delivers an innovative alternative to present switch and control systems. TouchCells are manufactured by TouchSensor on a rigid or flexible PCB. When 5 volts is applied to the TS100, an electric field is created. The field emanates through any dielectric substrate such as glass, plastic or leather. When a conductive mass enters the field, the sensor detects the change and indicates an event has occurred. The input stimulus to the field can take the form of the human finger, metal or liquid. Learn more by watching the video.


December 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine
Fitness Appliances: A Display of Fitness

One way Life Fitness achieved a leading role in the residential and health club exercise equipment area was by listening to dealers and end-use customers regarding product development.

Life Fitness teamed up with TouchSensor™ Technologies to completely redesign controls on a new line of treadmills. Controls are touch activated, so only a finger swipe actuates a key. On the main control panel, keys are backlit and only illuminate when active. A lower console area places the most used keys closer to the user and at an easily reached angle.

Read full story here


June 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine
Engineering Cooking Appliances: Digital Sensors Enhance Brand Image

Three years ago, Whirlpool Corporation began working on new electric freestanding range models with glass touch control panels. Glass is easy to clean, and panels can be produced to match the “visual brand language” established by the company. Switches mounted under glass panels typically use capacitive technology, which allows for customized sensing through the glass surface.

Glass touch control panels are featured in a line of Whirlpool freestanding electric ranges, built in Tulsa, OK, U.S. The panels use field-effect switches that sense a conductive mass, such as a finger, through the glass.

“We began exploring our options with vendors in October 2002, and quickly started to evaluate their samples,” says Wallace J. Elston, Whirlpool’s (Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.) lead electrical engineer for the project. “We wanted a proven touch technology that could easily interface with our main control electronics. By the following February, we chose TouchSensor™ Technologies for the touch pads and began working with them to develop and integrate their board with the rest of the control system.”

Read full story here