|Europe's leading residential technology trade magazine||Subscribe|
Product Article: The AMX Modero X Series of Touchpanels (6/6/2012)
By Jonathan Mangnall, AMX
The world has embraced the gesture-based user interface. Products like the iPhone and iPad forever changed the wireless mobility market and have helped to drive demand for a similar experience in the home control and automation markets.
The huge popularity of these smart-enabled devices demonstrates the extent to which gesture-based, multi-touch products can help simplify the interaction between people and the technology around them. As a result, we are seeing an explosion of interest in the dedicated touchpanel control interface, with users seeking an intuitive interaction similar to their wireless consumer products.
AMX's new Modero X Series family of frameless, panoramic and widescreen touchpanels delivers this experience. With a projected capacitive touch display, the Modero X offers multi-touch capabilities (up to three simultaneous touches) which, when combined with gestures, can support a number of intuitive human interactions such as taps, drags, swipes, flicks and twists. The Modero X Series then integrates these gestures into a complete residential control product.
Multitasking and Multitouch
Traditionally, many touchpanel experiences have left the user digging through layers or navigating linear progressions to perform activities. The Modero X Series touchpanels, with their edge-to-edge glass, offer a unique control surface that gives users the space to perform activities much in the same way they use a mobile device - by multi-tasking. However, unlike a mobile device, the panoramic Modero X Series panels allow users to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. For example, dedicate one space on the control surface for previewing video and a second space for device control, all while having full access to room settings and more.
The Modero-X touchpanels feature wide-ranging support for multi-touch gestures where users would benefit most, while seamlessly blending these new tools with the more traditional push button approach to GUI design. Gestures are really useful when navigating large amounts of data, where swipes can provide a very intuitive and elegant solution. Other gestures are useful when used as shortcuts for experienced users, for example a clockwise circular motion on an AMX Modero-X panel could be programmed to switch the room directly into a home cinema mode from any page of the GUI, while a counter-clockwise gesture could instantly power a room down. The use of such gestures is often a learned action but does save a significant amount of GUI navigation for some users, without compromising the logical design needed by others.
The 19" and 20" table-top products have a panoramic low profile design that won't interfere with lines of sight, while at the same time providing a large amount of pixel real estate comparable to traditional touchpanel designs (1920x530 pixels and 1920x800 pixels respectively). These panoramic proportions are ideal for displaying a home layout. This would allow the homeowner to view, at a glance, the status of the whole property and turn off unused lights, monitor a child's room or control the media room etc, all from the one interface. Additionally, In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology yields 89-degree viewing angles, from any direction.
Designed around an ARM-based microprocessor and running on the Linux operating system, the Modero X Series is also hardware-ready to employ the very latest technologies. An integrated 720p high-definition camera for panel-to-panel intercom and video chat, Bluetooth and USB external phone connections and high-definition MPEG-2 video streaming are just a few of its many advanced features.
The panels also include support for Near Field Communications (NFC); the set of short-range wireless technologies that promise to deliver peer-to-peer communication by 'sharing, pairing and transaction' between RF devices. As a protocol used for authentication, NFC could be used effectively to control access to a touchpanel or even allow different tiers of access - a functionality which could be applied, for example, for parental control. Indeed personalising the user experience is always paramount at AMX. Although things such as NFC technology are just beginning to appear on the market, we are including it now, as standard, and this is indicative of our anticipation of future integration with personal mobile devices.
Installation and integration of the hardware-complete Modero X Series has been made as easy as possible. For the 19" and 20" table top units there are effectively only two connections, Power and Ethernet, whilst the 7" and 10" table top units are POE.
There are two standard mounting scenarios for the wall mount units. For back-box mounting into stone, installation is achieved by cutting the hole according to the template, inserting the back-box, securing the back-box with four screws, inserting the touchpanel and securing it into the back-box. There is an optional rough-in/conduit box for between-the-studs mounting in new homes or onto masonry walls where holes are not easily cut for back-box mounting. In this scenario, the touchpanel plus back-box mounts into the rough-in box.
The use of gesture-based solutions is as straightforward for an AMX integrator to deploy as it would be for them to use one of our simple pushbutton panels. The support of gestures within a GUI design is a fundamental part of the AMX TPDesign software tool. Providing integrators with a simple, reliable and repeatable solution to the complex question of how to surpass their client's aspirations for touchpanel GUI functionality is a major part of what has been achieved with the introduction of the Modero X.
The groundbreaking new Modero X Series family of frameless, panoramic and widescreen touchpanels offers an intuitive user experience and a truly ergonomic design. It redefines touchpanel technology by giving users a new control surface on which to perform multiple activities, all at the same time. Its elegant design will create demand from both new and current customers, giving integrators a real opportunity to revisit legacy installations and introduce touch and gesture technologies to their customer base.
After all, touchscreens are now the norm, not the exception, and with market acceptance of them growing hugely over the last five years, the Modero X Series allows integrators to capitalise on this fact.
Jonathan Mangnall is the Sales Director for AMX Europe. AMX is a leading provider of unified control and automation, system-wide switching, audio and video signal distribution, digital signage and technology management solutions.
| newsfeeds | subscribe
to newsletter | submit
a link |