Capacitive inputs revisited…

You already know that I am a huge fan of keyboards, with some ideas of my own… I already spoke of capacitive keyboards also.

Well, Synaptics announced new inputs.

The ForcePad

Basically an enhanced trackpad. The main novelty is a variable pressure detection, but it also features a multi-finger detection feature. The pressure is measured for each finger, not as a resultant.

The physical buttons could be removed and replaced with a hard press, thus resulting in thinner pads. So, slimmer laptops, or bigger batteries, … Drawback: we lose the physical sensation of clicking.

As far as I’m concerned, not a problem: I do not use the physical button of a trackpad anymore. With some settings, I have the tap for left-click, tap in pre-defined corner for right-click, move along the edges for scrolling, … Trackpads are great! I only miss not having multi-touch…

Anyway, Synaptics’s video:


The ThinTouch

I first thought this was a curiosity: ThinTouch is a capacitive keyboard with physical keys. What could be the use?

I already said that I do not believe in flat-surfaced keyboards. Though it might be great to turn a screen into a keyboard with any layout you might need, using it seems impractical to me when you have to use it a lot. I like to feel the keys.

Plus you cannot lay your fingers on the keyboard without activating the keys.

ThinTouch proposes a remedy to these problems. But why, then, use capacitive keys?

First, the keyboard is thinner thus. Combined with the ForcePad, this could be great news for future ultrabooks.

Add to it the pressure-sensitiveness. You could use it to have a upper- or lower-cased character based on the force you apply on the key. Or any other application you might imagine for it.

The video:


I am growing impatient to see those integrated into new laptops. And to have the occasion to lay my hand on one of these.

[Source: Clubic]

Published by

Cyrille Chopelet

Programming addict, UX philosopher, casual gamer, sci-fi enthusiast, hi-tech dilettante, ... Some people even call me a geek.

"Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure." − Rowena Ravenclaw

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