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Virtual On-Screen Keyboards for use with Industrial Touch Screens

Comfort On-Screen Keyboard from Comfort Software

An on-screen keyboard (OSK), or “virtual keyboard,” allows the user to send keystrokes to the PC without the use of a physical keyboard. A mouse, touch screen, or other pointing device is used to “type” on the virtual keyboard on the monitor screen. On-screen keyboards are a great solution when an area rarely needs a keyboard or a physical keyboard is not accessible. (more…)

Vetra MegaTouch – A KVM Switch That Works with USB Industrial Touch Screens

Vetra USB KVM Switch with Touchscreen Support

"MegaTouch"™ USB KVM Switch with Touchscreen Support from Vetra Systems

Our customers periodically ask if it’s possible to hook a single industrial touch screen up to two computers. Using a KVM Switch, you can connect a single keyboard, mouse, and/or monitor to control multiple PC’s.

There are many USB-equipped KVM Switch options on the market, but unfortunately they generally do not work with touch screens. USB-equipped KVM Switches often only work with an actual USB mouse or USB keyboard. The switch understands the signals used in these devices, but signaling used in our USB touch screens is very different. (more…)

A note about USB vs. PS2/Serial KVM Extenders for Industrial Touch Screens

Adderlink X2 Silver KVM

Adderlink X2 Silver KVM Extender

As we have mentioned in other posts, all of the KVM extender models we sell use the Adderlink X2 Silver internal electronics. We package this device in various industrial enclosures, but also sell it stand-alone.

This model uses PS2 for the remote keyboard/mouse devices, VGA for video, and Serial RS-232 for the touch screen. It’s no mistake that Serial and PS2 are chosen for pointing devices: these are simple protocols that are very easy to reliably extend over very long distances (up to 300m for this model). We sell USB adapters for both PS2 and Serial for users who do not have these native connections.

There is a sea of USB KVM extenders on the market, but in extensive testing we have found that the ability to work reliably with the Elo Accutouch touch screens we integrate can vary. To understand why, we need to look at the types of USB KVM extension typically found on the market: (more…)

Product Tip: Calibrating “Below the Touch Point”

When doing an initial touch screen alignment, the Elo drivers used in all of our industrial touch screens display the standard “touch the targets” dialog:  the user is shown a series of onscreen targets and asked to click on them.

Touchscreen Alignment Demonstration

Touch Screen Alignment Demonstration

(more…)

Why do we use Resistive Touch Screens?

At Hope Industrial we have always used resistive sensors in our industrial touch screens. Specifically, we use 5-wire AccuTouch Resistive Touchscreens from Elo Touchsystems.

Touch Screen Sensor

AccuTouch Resistive Touch Screen Sensor

Resistive touch screens are made of at least two layers of flexible sheet (polycarbonate, in our case) laid atop a glass substrate. The sheets are coated with a resistive substance and are kept separated by tiny dots. When the touch screen is pressed, the flexible layers are pushed together, generating a change in resistance on both vertical and horizontal axis. This change in resistance is measured by sensors on the edges of the screen and the degree of change is measured as a touch point. Of course there are a variety of different touch technologies out there: Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW), Capacitive, Infrared, etc.

Interesting stuff, but the point of this post is not to compare and contrast these technologies (Wikipedia does a great job of that already), but to explain why we chose 5-wire resistive, and why we use Elo products specifically. (more…)

Linux drivers for Industrial Touchscreens

Linux Tux in hard-hatFor today’s post we will provide a quick overview of how Elo handles drivers for Linux systems.  We use Elo Accutouch resistive touchscreen sensors and controllers in almost all of our touch-enabled products, and Elo offers very robust support for the Linux platform.

Elo offers both pre-built installation packages for common Linux distributions, and source code for other distributions (or for anyone who would like to customize or modify the drivers).  All of this is available on the main Elo touchscreen driver page.  Once you accept their standard EULA, you are presented with a range of ready-to-run Linux drivers. (more…)

Introducing the New Hope Industrial Systems Industrial Display Blog!

Welcome to News.HopeIndustrial.com, a new service presented by Hope Industrial Systems, Inc. to provide our customers with up-to-date news and information on industrial displays and touchscreens.

This website will provide an exciting new forum where we can discuss everything from solving common customer issues, to new product information, to the latest developments in the industrial HMI field. (more…)

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