Pressure-Protected Touch-Screen Functions




Provide selective protection of specific areas of a touch-screen user interface (UI) through pressure sensitivity.



Problem Solved

Touch screen user interfaces (UI) frequently suffer from accidental touch-events being registered. In the case of ”mission critical” functions, this could be dangerous. The solution provides a means of limiting these accidental touches, whilst preserving sensitivity for rest of the UI.




Touch-screen user interfaces typically suffer from the following compromises:


– The screen must be sufficiently sensitive and responsive that the user can easily perform the necessary touch gestures, and


– The screen must not be so sensitive that unintended or non user-initiated touch events are recorded.


This is particularly important in the Marine industry, where salt water or rain on the screen has been known to cause false triggers. This is particularly dangerous when such false triggers could cause a dangerous outcome (e.g. switching off a boat autopilot).


These competing priorities can be addressed through the use of a pressure-sensitive touch display. The pressure threshold required to register a touch can be manipulated for different areas of the screen. Critical controls can be protected by a higher pressure threshold, and more mundane controls can be given the lower threshold.



The diagram above illustrates three levels of sensitivity:


– Green (most sensitive): The green area is the interactive map area. The user may pan and zoom the map with very light finger touches


– Orange (medium sensitivity) for functions A, B, C: The user must make an active ”press” gesture to trigger the functions A, B or C. This reduces the likelihood of accidentally triggering the functions when swiping over that area when panning the map.


– Red (least sensitive): These functions are more critical (e.g. disabling an autopilot, sending a distress message, etc.). The user must press hard on these buttons to trigger the function, thereby almost eliminating the possibility of an accidental activation.

I160010FL01 Pressure Sensitive Touch Screen Publication