vcc csm series capacitive touch

Smart Homes Are Even Smarter with Innovative Indication

Thermostats and other home devices have evolved over the last few years, getting not only smaller, but smarter and more connected. The consumer demand for simple, convenient products that make their lives easier are driving the change.

With smart thermostats like Nest and Honeywell, users can program and control temperatures from their phone, even when they’re still at work. But these devices do so much more than control temperatures… They monitor energy consumption, providing peace of mind and control, as well savings on utility bills.

And the heavy lifting for these devices happens in the user interface. These next-generation smart home devices must:

Be easy-to-operate – no one has time to break out the instruction manual. Smart thermostats and other devices must be simple to understand and operate without any instruction. And intelligent visual communication can make using these devices intuitive, even without text. Watch our Director of Product Development & Marketing explain how in this RegalixTV interview.

Include high-tech features – a simple programming interface that incorporates touch sensors is a must for smart home devices. Through the use of capacitive touch sensor displays and intuitive icons, consumers can quickly adjust temp settings to their liking with a few touches or swipes.

Support sleek design – today’s customers expect the simplicity and aesthetic of Apple products, so clunky thermostats and other home devices won’t cut it. The smaller, less obtrusive in the home the better. And illuminated components enable sleeker design with smaller footprints that help support the modern look and lifestyle.

vcc csm series capacitive touch

Smart Home Thermostat Case Study

Read how the CSM Series was used to create a smart home thermostat

Designing for Smart Homes Requires a Focus on Homeowners

Just because a thermostat has all the bells and whistles doesn’t mean the interface needs to overwhelm the end-user. This is where intelligent user interface design comes in.

When designing the HMI, consider the end-user first (and at every step along the way).

Ask yourself questions that lead to the ideal user experience, such as:

Can you use icons or visuals instead of text to convey the status?

What will be the visual language of the device? A flashing single color to communicate a change in status? Changing from red to green on a single indicator? Will each status operation have its own indicator, or can multiple functions be communicated in a single light with different colors or cadence? 

Will the thermostat be simple to use day or night, since many end-users will want to make edits while half-sleep?  

Thoughtful HMI design empathizes with how, when, and where the operator will be using the thermostat. It also accounts for human error (which happens a lot). So many seemingly minor design decisions impact the user experience in a big way. So we created a free guide to help designers and OEMs make informed indicator decisions early-on, so intuitive operation is the end result.

Products Designed to Streamline HMIs for Thermostats and Beyond

VCC is leading the way in backlit LED capacitive touch sensor display technology designed to enhance device design with a portfolio well-suited for thermostats and other smart home products.

CTH Series

The CTH Series touch sensor displays eliminate the need for a traditional on/off switch while providing uniform illumination. With 15mm x 15mm x 11mm through-hole design, the CTH Series enables reliable visual communication in a range of colors including super red, yellow, blue, pure green, and white, with or without standard icons.
CSM Series surface mount capacitive touch LED sensor

CSM Series

VCC recently upped the ante in CTH design possibilities by launching the CSM Series — the industry’s smallest CTH touch sensor displays. The CSM Series Capacitive Touch Sensor Displays are unique because they measure only 15mm x 15mm x 3.2 mm and can be surface-mounted or even reverse-mounted to save additional space on the device.

All of VCC’s backlit LED capacitive touch sensor display products provide:

  • Reliable operation – whether user has a dry or damp finger, or is wearing touchscreen-compatible gloves.
  • Enhanced visual communication – standard icons are available in on, off, alarm and arrow, but custom icons can be created to accommodate any design.
  • Design flexibility – a thin acrylic or glass overlay can be placed over the touch sensor to further customize the design.
Intelligent illumination technology provides many benefits for the manufacturer and the end-user:
vcc csm series capacitive

For the manufacturer:

  • Longer device life, improving quality – because CTH displays do not require mechanical on/off switches, they last longer than traditional indicators so manufacturers can deliver a higher-quality, longer-lasting product.
  • Greater design flexibility – by offering smaller capacitive touch sensor display sensors that can be mounted in a range of ways, VCC opens up many design possibilities.
vcc csm series capacitive

For the consumer:

  • Better user experience – an easy-to-use interface means operators don’t have to work too hard to get the ideal temperature.
  • Enhanced convenience – app-controls, simplicity, and energy efficiency are must-haves for today’s consumers.
  • Sleeker design – complements the modern home aesthetic rather than being an eyesore on the wall.
As home devices become smaller and more intuitive, VCC will be there to deliver innovative products to help shape the next wave of smart home product design. 

Read this case study to discover how VCC was the clear choice for Otto, the maker of smart home automation products you can only find in leading-edge new homes.

Learn more about how we can take your device to the next level

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