Structab Developed Their Taximeter With Touch Functionality For Difficult Electromagnetic Conditions
Structab is a taxi solutions provider with decades of experience. Read how they designed their latest taximeter MegTax 410 to withstand environments challenged by EMC.
Structab is a taxi solutions provider with decades of experience. Offering everything a dispatch central will need, from service systems to taximeters, they are well aware of the ins and outs of the taxi industry. As the taxi world is experiencing a big changes in how rides are hailed and managed, there is a need for a modern taximeter with apps and a touch interface akin to that of consumer tablets. To designing a state-of-the-art taximeter in such a highly regulated industry, Structab was challenged with the task of finding a touch technology suitable for use in environments with strict electromagnetic compliance requirements.
Structab supplies complete systems and in-vehicle hardware to help taxi companies stay at the forefront in a world going digital. As the taxi industry is shifting from using consolidated hardware, new connected and app-based taxi services increase the need to provide drivers with a dynamic in-vehicle interface.
When developing a new taximeter that supports traditional features alongside modern app-based ones, Structab needed a touch solution that could handle the challenging environment within automotive vehicles
In Sweden and in many other markets, taximeters abide under detailed laws and regulations. In its nature, a taximeter is a measuring device and since it supplies the data from which the cost of a trip is calculated, it must be tamper proof and its measurements must not be influenced by external disturbances.
Due to the high levels of electromagnetic interference that exist within cars, multi-finger touch input solutions such as projected capacitive touch (PCAP) have problems passing the requirements for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) that are regulated in the international recommendation OIML R 21.
It was these challenges that prompted Structab to reach out to Neonode about its IR-based touch input solutions.
Utilizing Neonode’s Touch Sensor Module, a standalone sensor product that projects a touch-interactive infrared field on top of any display or surface, Structab achieved the required touch functionality while also meeting the industry’s strict EMC requirements.
In addition to withstanding electromagnetic fields in the vehicle, the Neonode solution also endures the climate changes that can occur in a taxi, including extreme variations in temperature and humidity. Unlike conductivity-based capacitive touch solutions, the light-based Neonode touch solution also supports gloved input. This allows the driver to keep warm in cold climates with gloves on and enables taximeter interaction using any tool they prefer.
Structab’s collaboration with Neonode enabled the company to provide a regulation-compliant touch experience to its industry-leading taximeters. The project is also generating positive feedback from users, including from a female taxi driver who praised the touch interface for working with long fingernails.
Motivated by the adaptability a Neonode Touch Sensor Module provides, Structab is now exploring features beyond regular touch. A scrolling zone could, for instance, be configured outside the edge of the display, allowing for the driver to easily navigate the taximeter interface without covering the display with their hand.
Furthermore, by extending the touch active area below the taximeter’s bottom edge, a whole hand swiping solution can be added. This can be programmed to trigger any frequently used feature without forcing the driver to look at the taximeter, allowing them to keep their eyes on the road.
Seated in Halmstad, in the southwest part of Sweden, Structab consists of a small but efficient organization of 15 people with extensive experience developing electronics designed to work in challenging environments. Structab’s products are aimed mainly toward mobile data systems, where the company develops both hardware and software. Its products are made-in-Sweden at Propoint AB in the neighboring city of Kungsbacka.
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