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“SigmaSense is an I-Zone Standout” at Display Week 2019

All week long, Information Display’s reporting crew will be traveling the aisles and session rooms of Display Week 2019 to bring you show highlights. Be sure to check back each day for updates. For program notes, maps, and more, visit displayweek.org.

SigmaSense's VP of Emerging Technologies Gary Baum and CMO Steve Sedaker at the company's booth in the I-Zone

From left: SigmaSense’s VP of Emerging Technologies Gary Baum and CMO Steve Sedaker at the company’s booth in the I-Zone.

By Stephen Sechrist – Thursday May 16, 2019 – Originally from Wiley.com

One of the highlights of Display Week is the Innovation Zone, or I-Zone, which provides space for not-yet-commercialized prototypes in a dedicated section of the show floor. This part of the Display Week experience adds an entrepreneurial/start-up component to the exhibition and has endeared itself to show-goers since its inception in 2011.

This year, one notable technology that caught my eye was from SigmaSense, an Austin-based start-up that delivers a digital, fully-scalable sensing technology (think skin). It virtually eliminates noise problems and “…solves the tuning challenges of traditional touch sensors,” according to Chief Technology Officer Gerald Morrison, Ph.D.

To get there, the company uses capacitive imaging to concurrently transmit and receive in three specific modes: self capacitance (single touch), mutual capacitance (inanimate objects), and pen input devices, each from a unique channel leading to man-machine perception.

Most impressive was the demo, which included placing a water bottle on a glass surface sitting atop the display/sensor array and illustrated the technology’s extended hover capabilities and remarkable degree of perception. The system could sense not only the glass surface and water bottle but my hand as it came in proximity to its surface.

All of this is being delivered at extremely low power consumption. According to Dr. Morrison, the high impedance 32-inch demo system ITO (indium tin oxide) sensor was being driven at just 0.02V and was based on a single bit (1 bit) Sigma Delta A/D.

The technology is also scalable from mobile to large format displays, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This perception sensor demonstrates the capacity for adding “skin-like perception” not just to devices in the pipeline but to most any surface (everything from countertops to clothing). The possibilities seem endless, and the technology is impressive, to say the least.