With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to shape business trends and influence decision makers in the medical devices sector, GSR Technology’s innovative solutions are needed more than ever.

Here, Medical Device Network speaks to Lee Swinton, Managing Director at the leading optoelectronics firm, to discover its new TOUCHLESS User Interface technology, and how GSR’s agile model continues to give the company its winning advantage.

Q: What does the TOUCHLESS User Interface offer that touch-type gesturing cannot? What are its primary benefits?

The primary benefit of a touchless user interface (UI) is the creation of a non-touch environment, and the reduction in physical contact points. This is a benefit in a variety of applications, whether it’s avoiding contamination in a hospital setting or a food processing plant, or simply a passenger using a self-service check-in at an airport. The current global pandemic has demonstrated the health benefits of having more applications and developing more products that utilise a touchless user interface.

Q: What really sets this product aside from other touchless user interfaces?

Most touchless UI’s need a computer vision or IR projector-based system combined with artificial intelligence (AI). These systems work well when the user stands a short distance from the system and uses simple gestures to interact.

But some users require a UI to operate in a more detailed and focussed level, in the Near-Field, without contacting the surface of the screen. This technology will automatically detect the difference between the user hovering and touching, as well as recognising air touch and air tap gestures to identify the user’s intent. Our solution uses a standard touchscreen sensor, keeping development costs low, and the system will also work through thick cover lens designs.

Q: Has the Covid-19 pandemic influenced touchless interfaces? How has this affected GSR Technology?

Yes. As a global society Covid-19 has made people acutely aware of the health benefits of hand hygiene, and the risk of infections spreading through the touching of contaminated surfaces. This is already leading to more touch controller manufacturers investing their research and development efforts in non-touch UI solutions. This will drive technological advancements, that will see improvements in sensitivity, accuracy, and the physical size of the UI, allowing more and more products to be designed with touchless UI technology.

In terms of our business, GSR Technology is seeing increasing demand from existing and new clients for this touchless technology, both within the medical industry and other industrial applications.

Q: What makes your company superior to other businesses selling touchless user interfaces? What can you offer that no one else can?

Flexibility and agility in decision making have always been a key operational strength for GSR Technology. This allows our business to not only understand new technologies that are being developed, but it allows GSR to adapt our strategy quickly to take advantages of these innovations. This is something that our larger competitors find more challenging and can mean they are slower to react to introduce new technologies into their product ranges.

Our close working relationship with the non-touch controller manufacturers, and touch sensor manufacturers means that we understand the direction of the technology. This allows GSR to be at the forefront of this relatively new and innovative technology. Our presence as an existing supplier within the key medical and industrial markets means that GSR already has a good understanding of the prospective customer base in which to drive these technological advancements in non-touch UI’s.

Q: What does the future hold for the TOUCHLESS USER Interface? Does GSR have plans to continue to innovative and create newer, more advanced versions of this technology in the future?

The market for touchless UI’s was advancing long before Covid-19, but the pandemic will accelerate that development. The potential for growth in this area will attract more touch controller manufacturers, and in the short-term this will mean increased accuracy, sensitivity, and enhanced useability.

There have already been advancements in areas such as voice-controlled UI’s, retinal scanners, and palm recognition technologies, that all help to reduce physical contact points for many applications and industries. It is certainly an exciting time for touchless UIs, and GSR Technology plans to be at the forefront delivering these solutions to our existing and prospective clients.