3M Touch Systems has released new Interactive Surface Technology (IST), allowing users to apply a touch interface to nearly any surface.

The interactive touch surface is constructed of a flexible polyester layer that can be laminated to the front of any surface, laminated to the back of any surface, or applied to a contoured surface.

The substrate for lamination can be plexiglass, polycarbonate, plastic, glass, laminated glass or any other nonconductive surface. MicroTouch IST can support on display use with LCD panels or off display use creating touch pad or button interface designs not using a display.

The technology is aimed at traditional touch application segments such as retail, point-of-sale, kiosks and industrial applications.

Interactive Surface Technology is also suitable for outdoor environments, mobile and handheld devices, and on and off-display implementation for automobiles.

Mobile devices and handheld computers with MicroTouch IST can be activated with finger, stylus, or gloved input.

Products used in outdoor environments can be supported with laminated stack-ups integrated with Vikuiti Solar Reflecting Film for heat resistance or Vikuiti Light Control Film for privacy.

Automotive designers can design with MicroTouch IST for on-display navigation systems or as part of an integrated centre stack, centre console, and/or overhead controls.

The flexible foundation of the polyester touch layer allows off-display, button-like implementations under leather, vinyl, cloth or moulded plastics.

MicroTouch IST's ability to underlay the touch layer behind any nonconductive material offers home appliance and home automation designers new ways to implement touch interfaces embedded in glass tables or countertops or as the actual interface for an appliance, with or without an LCD.