Peratech licenses touch-screen tech

Kyoto, Japan-based Nissha has signed a $1.4m (£0.87m) licensing agreement to use North Yorkshire-based Peratech’s Quantum Tunnelling Composites (QTC) to create touch screens for mobile phones and portable electronic devices.

The licensing agreement gives Nissha exclusive worldwide rights to use the technology for screens smaller than 3.5 x 5.5in (88.9 x 139.7mm) for an initial period of one year.

QTC’s properties enable it to be made into force-sensitive switches of any shape or size.

QTC switches and switch matrices can be screen printed, allowing for development of switches that are as thin as 75 microns.

QTC is also low power, and interfaces can be designed with no start resistance so that without pressure, the switch draws no power and passes no current.

Importantly, when pressure is applied, the resistance drops in proportion to the amount of pressure, which allows human machine interface designs that react to variations in pressure.

Chris Lussey, joint chief executive officer of Peratech, said: ‘Using products with an embedded QTC switch, consumers could search deeper into a file structure simply by pressing harder, control an avatar’s movement through a game more naturally, or create the thin or thick lines that are vital for far-eastern characters.’

Takao Hashimoto, director and chief technical officer of Nissha, added: ‘QTC will be a disruptive technology for mobile phones, enabling thinner phones to be designed with amazing new input interfaces.’