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MicroTouch Extends Its Leadership in High-Durability Markets With Advanced Flat-Panel Touchscreens That Simplify OEM Integration

METHUEN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 14, 1999--Extending its leadership in high-durability touchscreen markets, MicroTouch Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTSI - news) today introduced the industry's widest array of flat-panel touchscreens.

Based on advanced touch technologies, the new Profile Series flat-panel touchscreens make it easier and more cost-efficient for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and MicroTouch Monitor Alliance Partners to integrate them into flat-panel displays. These new touchscreens, ranging in size from 6.4 inches to 42 inches, provide as much as 23 percent more viewing area than competitive touchscreens, as well as enhanced clarity and light transmission.

MicroTouch's introduction of the new Profile touchscreens coincides with a growing trend in several vertical markets. OEMs increasingly are using slim-format, touch-enabled liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in casino and counter-top amusement games, self-service kiosks, ATMs, industrial and military control systems, and other devices designed for public-access and harsh-environment applications. MicroTouch unveiled the new Profile Series touchscreens today at the World Gaming Congress & Expo in Las Vegas, Nev.

Features and Benefits

The newly developed touch technologies used in Profile Series touchscreens provide several innovative features and benefits important to OEMs and monitor suppliers. They include:

  • Compact electronics -- The touchscreen controller, the electronic ``brains'' of the touch sensor, has been reduced in size from 2x3 inches to 1x2 inches. This compact, single-side circuit board provides OEMs with more flexibility in the way touch sensors can be designed into slim flat-panel displays.
  • High-performance touchscreen for large displays -- The new 42-inch touchscreen, the largest in the MicroTouch product family, is designed to make it easy for systems integrators to touch-enable premium large-screen plasma displays manufactured by such leading vendors as Fujitsu, NEC, Pioneer, and Sony.
  • Increased viewing area -- The patented MicroTouch electrode pattern applied to the border of the touchscreen sensor has been narrowed by more than 50 percent. This enables OEMs to reduce the bezel width necessary to integrate the touchscreen sensor with a display, thereby increasing the overall viewing and touch-sensitive areas of the display. Creators of today's multimedia games and graphical applications place a premium on viewing area.
  • Enhanced optics -- MicroTouch has devised a new method of enhancing touchscreen optics. The new ``True AR'' optical treatment provides superior anti-reflective characteristics, greater clarity, and improved light transmission, while preserving the ``true'' optical qualities of the LCD.
  • Increased ``design-in'' flexibility and reliability -- Using state-of-the-art electronic techniques, MicroTouch has integrated the controller cable wiring directly to the glass sensor. This cleaner packaging provides OEMs more flexibility in connecting the sensor to the LCD panel, and increases product reliability.

The new Profile Series touchscreens are based exclusively on MicroTouch's industry-leading ClearTek 3000 capacitive touch technology, which provides superior durability against scratches and abrasions. This unique, virtually scratch-proof feature benefits OEMs by providing a dramatic increase in endurance, performance, and overall value.
¶ ClearTek touchscreens are also impervious to water, dirt,

liquids, grease, and other contaminants, making them attractive to manufacturers of public-access devices, and enormously popular in gaming. About 90 percent of all touch-enabled gaming machines in operation around the world use MicroTouch capacitive touchscreens.

Industry Commentary

Gaming industry expert Randy Fromm, the technical editor of Play Meter Magazine and a contributing editor to several leading trade publications, wrote in a recent technical review of a ClearTek 3000 flat-panel display: ``This new touchscreen LCD monitor from MicroTouch represents the future of display and touchscreen technology. It's literally a `plug 'n' play' solution to integrating both display and user interface into a wide variety of products including public kiosks, wall-mounted digital jukeboxes and the next generation of countertop games with as small a footprint as you can imagine.''

International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT - news), a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of microprocessor-based slot machines, video gaming machines and software systems, uses ClearTek 3000 in its touch-enabled products. ``Gaming is a very competitive industry, so as we strive to outpace other gaming machine manufacturers, we rely on MicroTouch to deliver leading-edge technology that we can design into our innovative games for continued customer satisfaction and player excitement,'' said Rich Newton, Electronic Supplier Manager at IGT.

Princeton Graphic Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of computer and high-definition displays and a MicroTouch Monitor Alliance Partner, recently selected ClearTek touchscreens for its newest monitors. ``MicroTouch touchscreens are easier to integrate and the new True AR provides outstanding optics,'' said Tom Paterniti, vice president of product marketing at Princeton. ``Combined with Princeton's quality, performance, and features, we are able to provide our customers with a first-quality touchscreen solution suitable for any environment.''

Strategic Goals

This announcement marks another major step in the company's business strategy for 1999 and beyond. ``We are fulfilling several important goals,'' said Wes Davis, MicroTouch president and CEO. ``Most importantly, we are adding extraordinary value to our ClearTek product line. This demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement of our core products, and is a direct result of increased investments in development of our proprietary capacitive technology in the last two years.

``We are also strengthening our global leadership in markets where touchscreen durability, reliability, and optical quality are essential attributes. In addition, we are capitalizing on the industry trend toward flat-panel displays, and extending our competitive advantage in ways that will be difficult for other touchscreen suppliers to match,'' Davis said.

Availability

MicroTouch will begin shipping the new Profile Series flat-panel touchscreens in limited quantities during the fourth quarter, with volume shipments scheduled for the first quarter in 2000. Samples are available now.

About MicroTouch

MicroTouch Systems, Inc., is the world's leading manufacturer of computer touchscreen display products incorporating the two most popular touch technologies -- analog capacitive and resistive membrane -- which the company applies in a variety of products, and markets under the ClearTek and TouchTek brand names. With its headquarters and ISO 9001-certified manufacturing plant in Methuen, Mass., MicroTouch also maintains manufacturing facilities in Texas, the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia, along with sales offices and distributors in more than 50 countries. MicroTouch also operates TouchStore.com, an Internet-based electronic commerce site devoted exclusively to the sale of touchscreen monitors and related products. Founded in 1982, MicroTouch reported sales of $144.4 million in 1998. The company's Web site is www.microtouch.com/info


Contact:
     MicroTouch Systems, Inc.

     Edward F. Clough, 978/659-9120

     eclough@microtouch.com
TouchVision
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Newsbit furnished by:


TouchVision, Inc
330 Main Street
Seal Beach, CA 90740
Phone: (562) 626-8200
E-mail: ljmahar@touchvision.com
Web: www.touchvision.com


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