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Current state of touchscreen technology

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  • Current state of touchscreen technology

    This is a bit of a rant so I'll try to keep it civil. I've been tinkering with my carPC for 2-3 years now and am a bit dismayed with how relatively unchanged the touchscreen displays suitable for in-car use have been. I bring this up when comparing to the evolution of cellphone touchscreens (I see no reason they cannot be compared).

    Both of my two displays have been Xenarc. While I know ~7" displays have gotten brighter, little appears to have changed with the underlying panel and touchscreen film overlay. My latest Xenarc (latest 700 model) was installed earlier this year and still suffers from horrible sunlight readability problems. When the cold weather affects panel brightness (around this time of year), it is completely unusable during the day.

    Transflective upgrades nearly double the cost of the monitor making them a bit prohibitive. I got to playing with an iPhone 3G and G1 over the holidays and the screens seemed to be a far step ahead of anything else. The screen was bright, usable in the sun and the touchscreen overlay did not impair brightness or clarity the way it seems to on my Xenarc.

    So, a few simple questions I will throw out.
    • Are there any manufacturers that have a transflective models from the factory? If not, why?
    • Where are the large capacitive touchscreens? (larger than cellphone size)

    I admit there may be some mfgs out there producing screens in suitable sizes (6"-10") with newer technology, but I have not found them yet. I know that cost is always an issue, but I would think that using newer technologies during mass production vs. hacking them on later on should be less expensive overall.

    Infiniti QX4 2002 project (done!... for now)

  • #2
    a couple of years ago, any touch screen cost $400. Instead of trying to get ahead of each other, there lowering the prices a dollar at a time. The qualitly of there products dosen't matter to them, as long as they sell a couple more.
    Progress,.... that is what I keep forgetting ;)
    planning_[++++++++++]. 110%
    parts___[++++++----] around 60%
    install___[-----------] -9,000%


    • #3
      I believe that just about sums up the unfortunate state of the market. Funny thing that the Xenarc's haven't come down much in price. I wouldn't mind paying a premium for a factory-produced transflective display w/ capacitive touchscreen... but no one has bothered to offer one as an option.
      Infiniti QX4 2002 project (done!... for now)


      • #4
        I totally agree and have been waiting for lower cost, better quality, more features from the screen manufacturers for years. I check these boards, specifically the LCD section to see if there is any news on the holy grail of a good all around unit. It never happens.

        I have turned my research to alternative solutions. GPS and netbook advances look promising. Instead of adding a Carputer to my wife's new ride, I purchased a Mio C520 on sale for 130 bucks. This GPS unit is hackable, it can play movies, uses virutally any GPS software, bluetooth which interacts with your cellphone for dialing and answering, it can play MP3s and can take up to a 32 GB memory card. It can be removed in 3 seconds to take inside and can be plugged into a USB port for development. Bootup is about 3-5 seconds.

        Downfalls is no hookup to a proper sound environment and the screen is a little smaller and not near the integration of a CarPc.

        Bottom line is the screen technology for carputers is the weak link in the chain. Expensive, unreliable, no new technology and poor quality. Other markets and technologies are getting closer and closer to what the Carputer offers and I am looking forward to alternatives as the LCD market for our hobby is dropping the ball big time.
        2008 350z GT Installed since April 22nd 2011 - Worklog
        2000 Protege Installed Since April 2, 2005 - Intel D201GLY|Fusion Brain|ODBPros ODBII|Engenius|GPS Rikaline|Powermate|Motorized Lilli
        Sound Stage


        • #5
          Until we get the support of the big guns (i.e. Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, etc.) we're not going to see any major developments in this arena very soon. We're largely reliant on the likes of Xenarc and Lilliput who, while making decent products, are not quite in the same league as the big guns and thus have not achieved high market penetration. This in turn means that they're functioning to serve a niche market and their purchasing power is weaker than that of the big guns.
          2007 Camry Altise In-dash Car PC


          • #6
            - -I am on my 6th monitor.....

            1) Here is what I have found out about monitors over this time. The LCD display is normally made by Pioneer or Hitachi or some other big name. They make the display, sell them in bulk to other companies and they put them together or just stick their names on the final product. The control board, touch overlay and other components are mostly the same.

            2) First monitor was a TM-808 from eBay. Worked very well until I decided to install it late one night and reversed the polarity and fried about 5 risistors on the control board. Up until then the monitor worked flawless. Second monitor was a unit that I bought from a fellow MP3car member and on the back of the monitor said Hitachi. He didn't have the touch panel which was cool because I use a touch pad, however the ribbon cable went bad and the MP3car replacement didn't do the job. Third monitor was a TView 9.2" Widescreen, had 3 of these. The first one started out fine, until I go to use it and when I touched the screen the cursor went everywhere. Never could get it to do right, but like I said I use a touch pad so it was cool. Now I had my vender get me another one and the next 2 he sent would not even calibrate. Poor qaulity indeed.

            As far as the transflective thing, I just took the styling ques from the auto industry and resised my monitor and that cleared up any glare I ever had. Also my tint is 5% all around.

            Now I'm moving on to an 11.2" widescreen Non-Touch screen. I have found that by using a touch pad keeps finger prints off the monitor and the touch pad is very easy to use. My current monitor just started this crap. About 1.5" - 2" of the the right side of the monitor has gone black. Go figure. That's just my take on this convo.
            - -Take a good look at yourself while at the computer, if your in a t-shirt and talking [email protected] on the internet. Chances are you fall in the "Internet Tough Guy" catagory.- -