How the Conductive Ink Panel convinced at the SIMA in Paris

Every two years, the SIMA, the leading international trade fair for agriculture and livestock farming, takes place in Paris. AGCO, one of the world's largest agricultural machinery manufacturers and umbrella for a wide range of its own agricultural software tools and technologies, was planning to present its product "Fuse" at the 2017 fair. The product and its function was supposed to be explained a vivid manner.

PRG Lab has been commissioned with the implementation of a very special touch panel, which describes the "fuse" system in a bilingual and innovative way. With a team of specialists, PRG Lab has been working on the implementation of the "Conductive Ink Wall". The development and programming was implemented within four weeks. The colleagues from Dusseldorf needed two weeks to build the prototype, followed by the integration of the media server and sensor technology and hardware prototyping before the construction of the final exhibit took place.

The interactive exhibit consists of two main components. The outer cladding and thus the haptic side, which was chosen in a wood optic, to refer to agriculture. The second component, besides the structural ones, is the actual main service of PRG Lab: The programming of the Ventuz real-time system as well as the programming of the sensor system, which in this case has become relatively complex. The sensor system is applied from the back to the wood panel and creates an electromagnetic field on the graphical elements on the panel. As soon as the graphics printed on the wooden plate are touched, the command is triggered to start the Ventuz system.

Visitors to the trade fair have the opportunity to start various animations of the processes and the interfaces involved in the farming cycle, such as harvest planning or fleet management, by touching the active touch areas individually or in parallel. These processes are then graphically displayed on the Conductive Ink Panel. The Ventuz Realtime application was programmed to control the playout of the animation sequences, the audio playback and trigger revaluation. Also for logic management for controlling the interactive elements, for optical calibration and mapping of the content assets as well as for the integration of external text sources.

The panel has a total area of ​​2.65 m x 3 m and a depth of 28 cm. For the graphical vizualisation, a special ink was used which is enriched with conductive particles. The advantage of this ink is that the touch sensors can be illustrated and printed in any form and sensitivity. The substructure consists of modular aluminum profiles with inserts for PCs, the audio equipment and the sensor perimeter. The total weight of the panel is around 750 kilograms. The projection took place via two light-weight laser Panasonic PT-RZ970E 1-Chip Laser DLPDLP projectors, which projected the contents from the shortest distance to the panel via UltraShort Throw Optics. In order to provide the perfect service, there is a network connection for remote maintenance via remote access.

Kay Schablowski, PRG Lab's Business Development & Sales Manager, is pleased with the results: "The possibilities for using such a Conductive Ink Panel are very diverse. This type of sensor system can be used for various applications, industries and event concepts.

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