PenMount Virtual Keys Add Product Design Flexibility

02/25/2020 | Bulletin No : PMY20002

Additional dedicated buttons designed onto the touch control surface is a novel concept to add functionality to a system.  PenMount controllers, firmware, and utilities provide the ability to create and assign functions to virtual keys with existing projected capacitive (PCAP) touch panel design.  In addition, the flexibility of virtual keys opens up simplified mechanical design options for customers.


PenMount provides a utility, PenMount Virtual Key Tools, to delineate the active area of a touch panel into a touch area surrounded by or adjacent to a button area and disabled area. PenMount Virtual Key Tools also support disabling the peripheral touch area or parts of the touch area for specialized applications. PenMount Virtual Key Tools allow users to designate the size and position of the button area, add/remove buttons, adjust button size and position, and define button function.  We can also support customers who wish to write these virtual key parameters directly into PenMount firmware to save time and effort.

Commands defined in the USB HID (Human Interface Device) Usage Tables specification can be assigned to a virtual key.  Currently, firmware supports up to 20 keys, and more keys will be available in future releases. These commands can be classified into three categories:

  1. Keyboard Usage: Simple combinations of hotkeys, such as Ctrl and + for zoom in.
  2. Consumer Usage: Application specific usages such as volume up, volume down, or mute.
  3. Generic Usage: System control features such as controlling backlight brightness or system power state.

One of the advantages of the PenMount virtual key feature: when customers are developing several projects with different applications, one mechanism design can accommodate various sizes of LCDs placed in different positions with the resulting empty space dedicated to virtual keys.  Using Virtual key functionality will eliminate the cost of creating a specific mechanism for each project and using LCDs that fit the mechanism exactly.


Currently, a number of projects employ a true-flat glass touch surface with printed buttons powered by PenMount virtual key technology.  For example, an agricultural combine chose to include virtual keys to conveniently control screen brightness in changing outdoor sunlight conditions and a USB eject button to simplify a repetitive process.  Not only is this design cutting-edge, the PCAP touch panel provides operation options not available in older designs.

PenMount virtual keys are economical and stylish.  To find out if they are right for your project, please contact our sales representatives.

You are welcome to download all of PenMount’s standard product data and drivers directly from our website at: http://www.amtouch.com.tw or http://www.penmount.com. If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to email us at [email protected] or [email protected].

Apex Material Technology Corp.

Address: No. 84, WuXun Street, Anle District, Keelung City 20446, Taiwan
TEL: + 886-2-2430-2666
FAX: + 886-2-2430-3255
Email: [email protected]

AMTouch USA, Inc.

Address: 4055 N 128th Street Brookfield, WI 53005, USA
TEL: + 1-414-847-1814
FAX: + 1-414-445-1968
Email: [email protected]

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