Automotive Capacitive Touch Sensor

Capacitive touch sensors are being used more frequently within the auto industry, with some units becoming standard rather than luxury.

Automotive Capacitive Touch Sensor

Capacitive touch sensors are being used more frequently within the auto industry, with some units becoming standard rather than luxury. Here we look at what and where automotive capacitive touch sensors are being used.

What is an Automotive Capacitive Touch Sensor?

Let’s break this down. A touch sensor is used to identify the location of a touch within a device, such as your phone (bit obvious but bear with us). A capacitive touch sensor is a sensor that works by identifying a touch due to a change in capacitance (or simply a change in charge) across the screen. A capacitive touch screen is essentially a sheet of conductive glass which uses a small voltage across the surface of the screen, enabling the change in capacitance to be registered.

Conductive Glass – Really?

Yes really!

By using a Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO), glass can actually become conductive. The most common TCO is Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). This is optically clear so perfect for use on displays.

Capacitive Touch Sensors For The Automotive Industry

As we mentioned, touch sensors are being used as part of the human user interface within cars more often. Touch enabled displays (sat navs, music systems) will often utilise a capacitive touch screen.

What’s even more interesting is ITO can also be deposited onto plastic and this has opened up more sensor options for cars. More recently, car door handles and even steering wheels are using this same technology.

The steering wheel sensor is designed with safety in mind but is still undergoing testing – one major issue here is the capacitive element will not work if the driver is wearing gloves as it is the skin contact on the steering wheel that provides the change in charge.

There is another application for cars, for which we are very proud of…

Diamond Coatings Capacitive Touch Lighting Systems

Developed by the technical team at Diamond Coatings is a rather clever piece of hardwear. An intuitive capacitive touch automotive lighting system that are designed to enable drivers and other occupants to operate interior light sources with just a touch to the interior light casing. The capacitive touch automotive lighting system is suitable for use in overhead lighting consoles for both personal and commercial vehicles, and offers both ease of use and a slight safety aspect too.

Diamond Coatings have been leading the market in capacitive touch interior light lenses for nearly a decade. To date, we have supplied in excess of 8 million lenses for automotive overhead lighting consoles to luxury car manufacturers.

How Can We Help?

An ISO9001 accredited company, we strive for continuous excellence and improvements – this relates to our products and how we treat our customers too. Based in the Midlands, we have our own purpose built facility where we are able to deposit our award winning coatings onto a variety of substrates.

If you are looking for capacitive touch sensors or any other ITO coating application we would be delighted to hear from you – please get in touch with us. A member of our technical team would be happy to discuss your specific requirements.




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Diamond Coatings operate a state-of-the-art magnetron sputtering plant, equipped with clean rooms, from modern factory premises located in the heart of England, the Midlands. We provide a variety of products, namely Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), Anti-reflection (AR) coatings on plastic or glass, monolithic RFI shielding filters on plastic or glass, Touchscreens, capacitive or resistive, glass supply, mesh windows.
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