Compact, High-Linearity Type Ideal for Stylus Pens for Smartphones.
Alps Alpine Co., Ltd., (Tokyo: 6770; President & CEO: Toshihiro Kuriyama) has added a new model to its HSFPAR Series of force sensors. Mass production of the HSFPAR007A Force Sensor, Alps Alpine’s smallest, began in June 2020.
Smartphones, in-vehicle controls, reservation and ticketing machines in public facilities…devices using touch input are increasingly commonplace. It was against that backdrop last year when a foldable smartphone appeared, captivating the market with the new added value of merging a tablet PC and smartphone. A number of manufacturers followed suit, developing their own models. Conventional smartphones underwent their own advancements in technology for full-screen displays, including punch-hole*1 and notch-less*2 designs. Evolution of larger displays and touch input is expected to continue.
Bigger displays lead, for example, to the emergence of many new drawing applications for smartphones and the use of stylus pens, allowing more detailed and diverse input, continues to rise, complementing the conventional input method of directly touching the display with fingers.
In March 2019, Alps Alpine developed and commenced mass production of the HSFPAR004A Force Sensor, which fits into the tip of a stylus pen for tablet PCs to enable accurate reproduction of drawing thickness corresponding to the pressure applied. Achieving high sensitivity, high resolution and high linearity, as well as outstanding impact resistance, the HSFPAR004A Force Sensor has been well received by many customers.
Now Alps Alpine has developed the HSFPAR007A Force Sensor, with a footprint of only 40% of the HSFPAR004A while retaining the basic performance capabilities of the earlier product. Mass production got underway in June 2020. The new product is small enough to fit in the slimmer stylus pens used for smartphones, both enhancing flexibility in design by device manufacturers and helping to improve user-friendliness of smartphone drawing applications, for example.
The HSFPAR007A Force Sensor detects stress as light as zero stroke (0.01N), enabling applications in robot arms and other parts of industrial equipment handling precision devices. The product has a wide range of potential uses as a sensor for detecting force along the Z axis. For example, it can be embedded beneath a touch panel or capacitive sensor to detect force applied to the operating surface and even ascertain whether an input operation was intentional or a mistake.
*1 A display with a punched-out hole, such as for a front camera
*2 A display the frame narrowed down right to the edge in all four directions
Comparison with Earlier Product
Drawing Examples Corresponding to Pen Pressure and Sensor Linearity
Alps Alpine’s smallest force sensor achieving high resolution, high linearity and outstanding impact resistance
- Footprint 40% of earlier product, realized through ongoing size reduction efforts
- High sensitivity and high linearity (2% FS)
- Long operating life of 1 million cycles
- Detects stress as light as zero stroke (0.01N)
- Outstanding impact resistance achieved with a load-distributing design
- Structure unaffected by external magnetic or electric fields
- Stylus pens and other input devices
- Pressure application adjustment for gripping by robot arms
- Various industrial equipment