About this project
There is a need for a small, inexpensive touchscreen for the new generation of embedded computers (Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, etc.) for use in creative projects, industrial machines (3-D printers, etc.), Internet kiosks, and any other application that requires a graphical touch interface. This project aims to provide a small, elegant, high-quality touchscreen display for an affordable price.
Previous HDMI monitors for embedded projects skimped on critical features found in LCD monitors: Attractive injected molded case, USB Hub, High definition audio. No more compromises!
A limited production run of PiTouch monitors have been developed, tested and shipped to beta testers. All features of the monitor: PCB, volume price commitments, injection molds, and firmware have been developed over the last year through extensive work in China.
But Don't Take Our Word For It
Here are some blog posts from the beta testers:
By supporting this Kickstarter, you will help enable a fully featured touchscreen for all your embedded projects for an incredibly low cost.
Use it for a touchscreen in your car like the Tesla, hang it on the wall and have it control the lights, make a touch-based drone controller, a mini-talking robot, or a tiny Minecraft box. The uses for this LCD touchscreen are endless!
10 inch 1280 x 800 IPS LCD with Corning Gorilla Glass
- 2 HDMI Inputs with HDCP (Can play back video from all HDMI devices)
- Composite video input with selectable bluescreen (NTSC & PAL)
- 4-point multi-touch capacitive touchscreen with drivers for Raspberry Pi, Windows XP / 7 / 8, Mac, Linux
- Works with Raspberry Pi, Windows, Mac, BeagleBone Black, Xbox, PlayStation, Blu-Ray player, or anything else that outputs HDMI video
- High brightness LED backlight for outdoor use
- Small, compact & elegant looking
- Built-in kickstand for desktop or kiosk use
- 100mm VESA mounts for wall-mounting
- 24-bit, 192-kHz high-definition audio DAC
- 2.4 watt Class-D amplified stereo speakers and Class-AB headphone amp
- Headphone jack that turns off the speakers when headphones are plugged in, allowing for quiet listening
- 3 port powered USB hub on allows for easy attachment of keyboards, mice, USB flash drives, etc. Supports Battery Charging Specification 1.2 with up to 1.5 amps on the rear USB port for fast charging of portable devices.
- Optional kickstand case for Raspberry Pi models B or B+
- BeagleBone Black can output audio via HDMI cable without needing to add a Sound Cape
- USB Back-Drive: Power the Raspberry Pi Model A+ or B through the touchscreen cable - Reduces the number of cables to 2
- Wide range voltage input (5 volts to 16 volts DC) allows for direct connection to a USB power pack or car electrical system for use in a vehicle. A wall transformer is available for home / office use
- Special feature for car integration: ‘Auto-Input’ switches to the composite video input when signal is present. Perfect for use with a backup camera wired to the transmission ‘Reverse’ switch.
Special feature for drone use: ‘Selectable Bluescreen’ shows continuous video, even with poor quality composite video input. Prevents the 5 second dropouts that other monitors have.
All of the development work (injection molding, PCB, firmware) has been completed over the past year in Shenzhen, China (I moved there in December 2013 to work on this project and will move back to the US after the last Kickstarter unit is shipped). As soon as the campaign finishes and the total number of units is known, orders will be placed to the injection molding and PCB factories, and LCDs will be ordered. Since all of them are local to Shenzhen, it takes very little time for the orders to be fulfilled. Arrangements with a local assembly factory have also been made so that PiTouches can start to be assembled as soon as the subassemblies are ready.
Why is the funding goal so low?
All of the development costs over the past year in China (prototypes, injection molding tooling, PCB fabrication, PCB assembly, etc.) have been paid out of savings. At this point, there are no more funds needed for development or production. But rather than just building a small batch and placing it on Amazon at full-price, it is more convenient (and cheaper per unit) to do a large build all at once. Kickstarter backers get a large discount and PiTouch gets lots of publicity - A win for everybody.
Also check out our other Kickstarter project, PiTablet
PiTablet is a Raspberry Pi tablet that is based on the PiTouch along with a USB power pack and an open-source acrylic case. Also, the acrylic case is available separately for use with other embedded computers like the Beaglebone Black, Hummingbird, Odroid, Udoo, etc. Perfect as an educational gift for a child or as a customizable portable controller.
Risks and challenges
At this point, there are very few risks. Tens of thousands of dollars were spent over the past year in Shenzhen to create the injection molding tooling, PCB and firmware. There will be a small PCB respin to address a minor feature request from the beta testers (prevent rear USB port power interruption on USB hub reset), but the vast majority of the circuitry will stay the same. Fortunately, Chinese New Year (when all the factories shut down for 2 weeks) falls on February 19th, 2015, so there should be plenty of time to source the components for all of the Kickstarter orders before then.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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