H2i to showcase optoelectronic user-machine interface at Electronica

H2i Technologies of France is to present its new, innovative user-machine interface at the Electronica show to be held in Munich in the autumn. This cutting-edge, patented optoelectronic technology re-invents data-entry systems for industrial and medical equipment as well as consumer and household goods by making it possible for any surface to be fully interactive – thus leading designers and engineers to re-think the ergonomic and other features of the devices they make.

As the winner of an award from the Agence Nationale Française pour la Valorisation de la Recherche (ANVAR, the French agency for facilitating research), h2i’s technology is based on the use of optoelectronic sensors and multivariable analysis methods. Designed to cope with the constraints of the toughest and the most challenging external environments, the interfaces ensure easy cleaning, great resistance to wear (number of keystrokes, seal, resistance to impacts, etc.) and easy product personalisation at a particularly low production cost and without specific maintenance requirements, since the devices do not include any moving mechanical parts.

Since 2000, when the French specialist company was founded on the basis of technology developed by a French college in advanced engineering studies, h2i has developed and marketed innovative optical data-entry systems (for monitors, keyboards and tactile pads). H2i’s technology has a very broad range of applications – from home appliances and consumer electronics to medical equipment and industrial equipment, as well as multimedia kiosks and information access-points, cash dispensers, and embedded systems, among others.

“H2i developed a reliable, innovative dialogue keyboard for our company for use in explosive zones, at a reasonable price,” explains Mr Joseph Racek, manager of DelMar APIS, which develops gas analysers for the petrochemicals sector.

“H2i’s technology is innovative, reliable and allows for interesting designs while respecting the main constraints of our environment – water, humidity, water vapour, reliability and lifespan,” says Ms Valérie Lebon, head of project in the R&D field for Kohler, for whom h2i developed control systems for balneotherapy equipment.

H2i’s optoelectronic technology has the potential to revolutionise the design and ergonomic approach for both appliances sold to the general public and professional equipment used in industry and the medical sector. These new types of interface present many decisive advantages for manufacturers of industrial and medical equipment as well as domestic appliances. They are sturdy and easy to clean, manufacturing costs are low, and their particularly innovative design enables strong product differentiation.

H2i Technologies will present these innovative solutions at the Electronica show, to be held in Munich (Germany) from 9 to 12 November 2004 (Stand #127, Hall #C1).

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Philip Jolly French Technology Press Bureau

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