Now, tech for touchless touchscreen to prevent virus spread through contact. Scientists from Bengaluru have reported an affordable solution to develop a low-cost touch-cum-proximity sensor — popularly called touchless touch sensor — through a printing technique.

Pointing out how Covid-19 has triggered efforts to make lifestyle more adaptable to pandemic scenarios, the researchers said their actions were driven to reduce the risk of viruses spreading, particularly in public places where touchscreens on self-service kiosks, ATMs and vending machines are inevitable.

This work by a team led by Prof GU Kulkarni of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced and Scientific Research and co-workers, was funded by DST-Nanomission at the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS). The findings were recently published in the journal ‘Materials Letters’.

Both JNCASR and CeNS are autonomous institutions of the department of science and technology (DST). “...Scientists from CeNS and JNCASR have set up a semi-automated plant for the production of printing-aided patterned (resolution of around 300 µm) transparent electrodes, which have the potential for being utilised in advanced touchless screen technologies,” DST said.

Dr Ashutosh K Singh, a scientist working on this project, said the team fabricated a touch sensor which senses a proximal or hover touch even from a distance of 9cm from the device. “We are making a few more prototypes using our patterned electrodes to prove their feasibility for other smart electronic applications. These patterned electrodes can be made available to industries and R&D labs on a request basis to explore collaborative projects,” said Indrajit Mondal, a co-author in the research.

DST said the novel low-cost patterned transparent electrodes have tremendous potential to be used in advanced smart electronic devices like touchless screens and sensors and assist in preventing the spread of viruses through contact.

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in Times of India. The original article can be found at )