Tag Archives: maXTouch controller

Atmel’s AvantCar console is on VentureBeat


VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi recently interviewed Atmel’s Stephan Thaler about the company’s AvantCar curved touch screen console. The futuristic concept is currently being showcased at CES 2014 in Las Vegas.


As Thaler notes, Atmel’s vision includes curved displays with no mechanical buttons. The primary challenge? Making everything easy to operate and noticeable – without distracting the driver. Indeed, consumers are accustomed to the responsive touchscreens on their smartphones and tablets, expecting the same rich experience from the screens in their cars.

“We’ve tried to look into the future of the human-car interface,” said Thaler.

Nevertheless, many cars on the road are still equipped with old resistive touchscreens — if they have the devices at all. These screens are fairly slow to respond and are considered inaccurate compared to capacitive touchscreens on smartphones. 

In sharp contrast, Atmel’s AvantCar concept is built around a fully functional center console consisting of two large curved touchscreen displays with no mechanical buttons and a slot for docking smartphones.

One screen features a navigation map, while another offers capacitive touch buttons and sliders. However, both the primary and secondary screens are capable of displaying a wide range of data from various systems, including GPS navigation, thermostat, audio controls, seat controls and more.

AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their internal vehicle environment (ambient lighting) via advanced touch capabilities and the automotive local interconnect network (LIN) connectivity system.

The entire AvantCar center console is powered by Atmel technology, including the XSense touch sensormaXTouch controller and QTouch, as well as automotive-qualified MCUs and LIN drivers for the ambient lighting control in the demonstrator.

“Atmel’s AvantCar is designed to show an avant-garde concept of what future car center consoles are likely to look like and how responsive they will be to a driver’s touch using advanced HMI interfaces,” added Thaler. “We are pioneering new ground with our technologies for the automotive segment and are thrilled to add more focus in this area for the upcoming years.”

The demo – designed in in conjunction with Germaneers GmbH – can be seen at Atmel’s Meeting Room #MP25958 located in the Lower Level of the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Please contact pr@atmel.com to schedule an appointment.



Interested in learning more? You can check out Atmel’s Bits & Pieces AvantCar blog post here.

Atmel showcases AvantCar concept at CES 2014



Atmel is showcasing its AvantCar curved touch screen console concept at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. According to Atmel Marketing Director Stephan Thaler, the exhibit demonstrates the future of human machine interface (HMI) in upcoming vehicles.

atmelavantcar

“Today’s drivers are demanding richer user experiences in the automobile, similar to smart devices in the consumer market,” Thaler explained. 

“This includes capactive touchscreens, curved form factors, personalized color schemes and navigation menus via touch buttons and sliders. AvantCar addresses all these requirements with an advanced user interface in the center console to include [the latest] technologies.”

As Thaler notes, Atmel’s AvantCar concept demonstrates a fully functional center console highlighting two large curved touchscreen displays with no mechanical buttons. Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders – allowing the user to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console including global navigation system (GPS), car thermostat, audio controls for a radio or media player, seat controls and more. 

AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their vehicle environment via advanced touch capabilities and the automotive local interconnect network (LIN) connectivity system, enabling individuals to simply push a single button to alter the car’s ambient lighting.

The entire AvantCar center console is powered by Atmel technology, including the XSense touch sensor, maXTouch controller and QTouch, as well as automotive-qualified MCUs and LIN drivers for the ambient lighting control in the demonstrator.

Additional technical details are listed below:

  • Curved touchscreen display – XSense, Atmel’s highly flexible touch sensor, employing metal mesh technology, can be used on curved surfaces and edges, giving the console a sleeker, more elegant design. XSense also facilitates the replacement of mechanical switches or rotary knobs on the curved center console with moisture resistance and glove support for drivers in cold climates.
  • Large capacitive touch screens – AvantCar offers optimized touch performance using Atmel’s automotive-qualified maXTouch controllers that support touchscreens and touchpads up to 12 inches. maXTouch controllers provide faster response times, more accurate touches and lower power consumption than other solutions on the market today.
  • Proximity sensing and capacitive touch buttons and sliders – Atmel’s QTouch technology provides a more intuitive user interface, effectively replacing mechanical buttons or rotary knobs while adding capacitive proximity detection, all embedded in a single controller. Proximity sensing will detect the approaching hand and then control, for example, lights to turn on/off and the touchscreen backlight accordingly. This feature is also ideal for night time driving especially for GPS, radio control and thermostat checks.
  • Ambient lighting controls – Atmel’s LIN solutions, based on the company’s RF and automotive-qualified AVR MCUs, offer an ambient lighting control option for each driver to personalize car lighting.

“Atmel’s AvantCar is designed to show an avant-garde concept of what future car center consoles are likely to look like and how responsive they will be to a driver’s touch using advanced HMI interfaces,” added Thaler. “We are pioneering new ground with our technologies for the automotive segment and are thrilled to add more focus in this area for the upcoming years.”

The demo – designed in in conjunction with Germaneers GmbH – can be seen at Atmel’s Meeting Room #MP25958 located in the Lower Level of the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Please contact pr@atmel.com to schedule an appointment.

Siemens selects Atmel’s maXTouch for Simatic Industrial Flat Panel

Siemens Industry Automation has selected Atmel’s versatile maXTouch controller to power the touchscreen for its Simatic industrial flat panel which is capable of delivering maximum usability in even the most rugged scenarios.

Indeed, as we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s maXTouch mXT1664S meets all the stringent requirements for industrial environments, delivering seamless touch performance even when subjected to high temperatures, vibrations, impact and electromagnetic interference (EMI).

More specifically, the touchscreens on the Simatic industrial monitor, powered by Atmel maXTouch controllers, deliver high signal to noise ratio (SNR), thereby enabling optimized touch performance in the noisiest industrial environments. In addition, Atmel’s maXTouch technology supports “gloves on” use, water resistance and multi-finger touch.

“Our customers demand continued performance with our industrial machines,” said Sidney McLaurin, Product Marketing Manager, Siemens Industry. “We selected Atmel’s maXTouch controllers because of their high SNR, resulting in superior touch performance even in unpredictable industrial environments with EMI, water, dust and constant vibrations. [Moreover], Atmel connected us with their local touch network, from touch module providers to their sensor partners, enabling us to bring our Simatic touchscreen faster to market.”

Rob Frizzell, Director of Large Touchscreen Products, Atmel Corporation, expressed similar sentiments.

“Our work with Siemens highlights just how ubiquitous touch has become, as everyone’s expecting intuitive touch interfaces with superior performance whether for consumer, industrial, or automotive applications,” Frizzell added. “Atmel maXTouch controllers deliver advanced touch performance including multi-touch, thinner sensors, superior noise immunity and support for ultra-thin passive stylus. Consumers benefit from these features with a more intuitive, robust interface for their smart, industrial panels on larger touchscreens.”