Ascentic Retail Engineering announced its first major shipment of touchless sensors on January 6, 2021. The Ascentic development team is proud to begin shipping production quantities of the PX-100 for installation in point-of-purchase displays for retail stores. No stranger to touchless technology, Ascentic™ Retail Engineering has developed this sensor in a form factor to address consumers’ aversion to public touch points. Ascentic’s new touchless controls will protect consumers from the spread of pathogens by using small AirSelect™ proximity and gesture sensors for intuitive control without any physical contact.
Ascentic has been working with sensors for several years, but interest in touchless controls has been increasing ever since the new sensors were introduced last Fall. Even though the retail sector is still inhibited by the pandemic, store fixture manufacturers are aware of the definite change in consumer expectations, and are seeking alternatives to touchscreens and push-buttons. The AirSelect proximity sensors and gesture sensors provide an ideal drop-in solution.
The Ascentic brand is part of Audio Authority Corporation, a long-established Lexington, Kentucky manufacturer. The company boasts its own domestic manufacturing facility and a robust engineering department, so when the pandemic threatened the retail industry, these resources were dedicated to creating a solution to the challenges of the pandemic. When shoppers don’t want to touch anything, traditional interactive demonstrations are no longer effective. Fixture designers and manufacturers need easy alternatives they can use to replace touchscreens touch-sensitive panels, rotary knobs, and pushbuttons.
The product itself – the PX-100 proximity sensor – is an elegantly engineered device. It had to achieve three objectives: replace the intuitive functionality of push-buttons, be easy to physically install or retrofit, and be electronically compatible with existing media players and other devices used in retail interactive displays – and all this at a reasonable cost. Its form factor is ideal for the application, being recognizable as a button-substitute, but the hand silhouette (the shape of the infrared lens) quickly communicates to the user what to do. The LED feedback is vital – without physical contact, the user needs a definite confirmation of their actions. Just like the Ascentic push-buttons, the PX-100 has a modular snap-in connector on the back for a solid and permanent connection that reduces installation time and costs, and can’t be mis-wired.
Ascentic’s Engineering Team rapidly refined existing sensor technology into a custom solution, and now their Manufacturing and Sales Teams are bringing these devices to the industry, helping retailers, fixture houses, and brands to adjust and thrive in the post-COVID world.