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Capacitive Sensor

Switching by touch

Capacitive sensors can register not only direct contacts but also mere approaches, and thus they can be applied as contact-free switches. They have the advantage that they can be hidden behind non-conductive materials and therefore can be integrated flexible into the exhibition design.

The inSynergie Cap-Sense modules can detect one or two sensor surfaces. The sensor surface itself consists of metallic material as wire loops or metal plates.
The sensor surface can be assembled behind isolating material as glass, stone, wood or synthetic material. Since a change of the electrical field is discovered at approximation an invisible switching operation can be triggered. The trigger range can be set as required to regard the characteristics of the covering materials and their thickness. If the sensor is triggered an internal relay can be switched or in the iSMaster an Event control can be triggered via USB.

Interface with iSCapSense in the "AlpSeeHaus"
Underside of the exhibit

Example of an exhibit with iSCapSens: Wooden singing bowl that is connected via sensors to the iSAudioServer.

Technical key data

The electrical power supply runs via USB (bus-powered 5V). Moreover iSCapSens comes with two sensor channels with adjustable switching threshold and two relay contacts that are individually configurable as potential-free closing contact or with a shared supply.
Simple communication is guaranteed with the RS232 protocol.


A capacitive proximity switch is a proximity switch (sensor) that reacts with an electrical switch signal when an object (no matter if conductive or non-conductive) or e.g. a liquid approaches without direct contact. It uses the changing electrical capacity of a potential electrode compared to the environment or a reference electrode.

The responsivity of the sensor can be adjusted with a potentiometer, e.g. to adjust the desired switching distance. The switching distance of a capacitive sensor can vary extremely.

Advantages of the contact-free approximity switch: They work without wearout, they are dependable and maintenance free. Often they also give optical feedback about the switching state. The reliability of contact-free switches is unbeaten, this allows a high process stability and therefor minimizes downtimes.

System design

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iSCapSens is evaluation electronics for capacitive surfaces and constitutes a contact-free switch. The switch can be adjusted to all sizes and shapes of metal surfaces so that all kinds of designs are possible.
The interface is connected via USB with the media control or an arbitrary PC.

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