Vancouver-based NZ Technologies — a designer and manufacturer of human-machine interfaces (HMIs) primarily for the medical market — recently entered into a Manufacturing Collaboration Agreement with Dupar Controls to produce a modern take on elevator call buttons and panels. The latter is a maker of elevator and keypad components.
Together, the companies are manufacturing a no-touch HMI and control product called the HoverTap Lift to replace traditional elevator call buttons and panels — making the elevator experience more hygienic. The NZ Technologies engineering team will provide the core hardware. Dupar Controls will market the product to its extensive customer base.
How HoverTap technology works
HoverTap has two main components — capacitive sensor hardware (panel or LCD screen) and a controller loaded with programming that incorporates an AI algorithm. Together, the hardware and software allow accurate real-time 3D detection of users’ fingertips without any latency associated with other touchless screens. The software interprets these positions as command inputs.
Again, the HoverTap touchless technology for the elevator system comes in two offerings:
• HoverTap Lift — the sensor panel is installed above a lit LCD touchscreen in the elevator car operating panel (COP), displaying virtual buttons to allow touchless taps in the air for destination floor selection.
• HoverTap Swipe — the sensor panel is installed behind pressure-contact control buttons to allow contactless control with simple gestures like swipes or taps in the air to call the elevator.
Designed with easy integration in mind, both HoverTap Lift, and Swipe have a picture-frame form-factor that fits over a surface to enable touchless interactions. Flush panel mounting supports maintenance, aesthetics, and code compliance. The product solely relies on preloaded software and no cumbersome installation of apps. Also, there are no camera sensors in the product, eliminating privacy concerns and bypassing various common hindrances to vision-based sensing problems, including ambient light fluctuations and obstructions.
The inspiration behind HoverTap is the TIPSO AirPad — a product developed to give surgeons contactless equipment controls in operating rooms during surgery.
The HoverTap technology was first installed for commercial use at the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Now the technology is also employed in other buildings in Greater Vancouver to ensure a safe and healthy return-to-work environment for employees and visitors. Future HoverTap installations are targeted to educational institutes, airports, railway stations, medical buildings, and commercial offices — and the hospitality and hotel industry in their efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and maximize facility cleanliness and convenience.
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