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Imager- vs. sensor-based interactive technologies

Which is best for your large-format display?

Are you interested in an interactive display for your organization, business, school or meeting room? Let's compare the two most common types of interactive technology used for large-format displays—imager- and sensor-based—to see which is best for your needs.

Imager-based interactive technology, also known as 'optical', uses one or more cameras to detect touch. The camera(s) may be located behind the display or in the corners of the display.

Here's an example of imager-based interactive technology

Imager technology works best with touch displays that have few simultaneous users—one  or two is ideal, with no more than four—and environments with low ambient light.

Things to consider:

  • When using cameras in the corners of a display, the cost of the touch technology is practically the same regardless of the size of the display
  • Environments with high ambient light can greatly reduce touch recognition
  • Cameras must be precisely aligned, which may require on-site calibration

Sensor-based interactive technology uses sensors and invisible light beams (created by infrared LEDs) positioned around the display to detect touch. Sensor software translates users' touches—taps, double-taps, flicks, pinch open, pinch closed, etc.—into real-time commands.

Here's an example of a sensor-based system that uses sensors along the top of the LCD panel (represented by green circles) and infrared LEDs along the sides and bottom (represented by blue strips)

Sensor technology is designed to handle large-format displays, and multiple simultaneous users. Touch screens with sensor technology, especially if the sensors are located only along the top of the display, are capable of performing with high accuracy and fast response times in high ambient light conditions.

Keep in mind:

  • The accompanying display must be durable enough to withstand continuous touches on a regular, long-term basis
  • On-screen image quality must be clear and sharp close-up because users stand directly in front of the display
  • Requirements such as non-standard aspect ratios can be addressed by technologies, such as the Christie Interactivity Kit for tiled touch screen displays

Want to know more about the differences between imager- and sensor-based interactive technologies?

Enhanced Engagement Download our technical brief, Enhanced engagement: Capturing attention with interactive video walls.

Is sensor-based interactive technology right for you?
Experience the breakthrough sensor-based touch technology of our Christie Interactivity Kit by pairing it with compatible Christie LCD panels: the FHD461-X, the FHD551-X, and the FHD551-XG. And this sensor-based touch technology is built right in to our 65” touch panel, the Christie FHD651-T.