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Press Release

2008.10.29

Wacom Launches New Surface Capacitive Touchscreen Product Line

CapPLUS extends Wacom’s RRFC technology into new markets and will be on view at FPD, WinHEC and Electronicaa

Tokyo –October 29, 2008 – Wacom announced today that it will launch a major new line of surface capacitive touch components with significantly improved performance over standard product that is available today. The new product line, based on Wacom’s patent pending Reversing Ramped Field Capacitive (RRFC) technology that was first shown at the International Society for Information Display Exhibition in May, 2008, will be marketed under the name CapPLUS, and will provide new levels of durability and performance to desktop monitor and vertical market equipment OEMs: including producers of casino and bar games, retail, lotteryand hospitality point-of-sale terminals, digital signage, self-service kiosks of all types, hospital patient monitoring and bedside multimedia stations, and industrial process automation equipment and all-in-one panel PCs.

CapPLUS will provide a very competitive stand-alone solution for all touchscreen-based devices or can be paired with Wacom’s market-leading EMR pen-input technology and other input solutions to enable new user experiences.

“Standard touch components will open new paths to growth for Wacom and place Wacom firmly in the high-end segment of the global touch industry, a segment that is estimated to exceed $400million in annual revenue,” said Masahiko Yamada, President and CEO of Wacom Company Ltd. “CapPLUS strengthens our commitment to becoming a key global supplier of natural and intuitive human machine interface solutions.”

A Better Capacitive Touch: Drift-free, Easy to Integrate, Stable around Metal, Glove Usage
While today’s widely-available surface capacitive touch technologies deliver superior sensitivity, durability and optics when compared to resistive touch technologies and superior response time and immunity to liquids when compared to acoustic and infrared touch technologies, they can suffer from a variety of application-dependent performance issues, including apparent calibration drift, sensitivity to environmental EM noise, accuracy problems in the corners and on the edges, jagged drawn lines, and have problems with proximity to metal housings and bezels or with simultaneous user contact of metal housing parts and the touchscreen. Also, today’s surface capacitive touch technologies simply do not work without a reliable AC ground or if the user is wearing gloves.

Wacom CapPLUS provides the benefits of today’s surface capacitive while solving all these problems using Wacom’s proprietary RRFC technology that was developed especially with ungrounded, battery-operated portable devices in mind. CapPLUS is RRFC technology packaged in a standardized component form suitable for use by OEMs, monitor integrators and value-added resellers. It is drift-free, stable, durable, sealable, linear to the edges, provides the smoothest dragged line of any touch technology, is immune to changes in temperature and humidity, not affected by water on the screen and offers significantly improved immunity to noise, ground instability and the proximity of metal parts. In addition, it can work through surgical gloves and typical polypropylene gloves used in food-preparation.

“It is rare in the touch industry that huge leaps in performance improvement can be achieved on the basis of an already accepted technology. Surface capacitive has been available in the market for more than 20 years without significant innovation to enhance its performance,” said Hidetoshi Kamoto,Executive Officer, Components Business Division of of Wacom
Company Ltd.. “Wacom CapPLUS will appeal to current users of surface capacitive touch technology that want to improve performance without increasing cost or sacrificing on global support and will open new market areas for surface capacitive, particularly in medical, industrial, food-service POS and digital signage applications. It also provides a great solution, from an experienced PC industry supplier, for the growing demand for touch in consumer and office-type desktop monitors and all-in-ones.”

Wacom CapPLUS standard sensor glass is built to proprietary specifications with edge patterns, an extra-robust “tail” construction and extra-thick surface hardcoat that are unique to Wacom. Each CapPLUS sensor also includes an ITO backshield coating and achieves optical transmissivity greater than 91%. The standard CapPLUS serial+USB controller and firmware handles all sizes up to 32” with various glass thicknesses.

Custom Development and Support: Large Sizes, Extra-Durable Coatings and Flush Surface
Wacom’s RRFC touch development center in Austin, Texas, is fully-equipped for prototyping and staffed by experienced touch engineers. Customized electronics and firmware configurations allow for a size range that is limited only by the availability of high-quality ITO-coated substrate glass, with 46” already proven in development.

Other capabilities of the Wacom technical team include specifying and supplying extra-durable surface hardcoats, laminations for extra strength and to include additional layers in the sensor such as privacy and EMI filters, and flush surface (or “zero-bezel”) sensor glass to meet demanding new industrial design requirements that cannot be satisfied by today’s surface capacitive, acoustic, infrared and optical touch suppliers.
Wacom Components sales support is global with teams in each of the major regions: USA, Asia and Europe, and with extensive staffing in Taiwan and China that are highly-experienced in supporting OEM/ODM and contract manufacturing supply chains.

For more information please check out the Wacom website at www.wacom-components.com

About Wacom

Wacom Company Ltd., (Tokyo Stock Exchange 6727), is a global company based in Japan with subsidiaries around the globe. Founded in 1983, Wacom’s vision to bring people and technology closer together through natural interface technologies has made it the world’s leading manufacturer of pen tablets, interactive pen displays and digital interface solutions. Wacom’s patented Penabled technology and its patent-pending RRFC touch technology are also offered as an OEM solution to manufacturers of PC and Macintosh computers. Many of today’s Tablet PCs count on the advanced features and reliability of Wacom’s input technology.

Additionally, Wacom’s pen and touch technology is playing a leading role in the development of such mobile devices as smart phones and PDAs. Wacom is committed to expanding the components brand and will continue to roll out new input technologies that provide a natural and intuitive computing experience.

For further information, please contact:
Kazuomi Ikeda
Wacom Co., Ltd. Public Relations
Tel: +81-(0)3-5309-1501
Email: wacompr[at]wacom.co.jp
Yuki Horie
Wacom Co., Ltd. Component Business Division
Tel: +81-(0)3-5309-1508