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January 06, 2011

Synaptics to Demonstrate Touch for Notebooks at CES

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

While tablets may be a strong focus at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert)) this week, Synaptics will be demonstrating the introduction of touch for notebooks. According to a PC World report, Synaptics (News - Alert) is the company behind the technology used in many laptop touchpads and leveraged the CES opportunity to demonstrate the next generation of touch.

The new touchpads will rely on image sensing technology. Lenovo (News - Alert) has already started to implement the new technology in its products, allowing users to leverage the new touch capabilities right away. The Synaptic touch technology allows for the sensing of more than just a couple fingers and as a result, allowing for the use of more complicated gestures to get things done.

For tablets, Synaptics provides touch technology for tablet screens, this will mean that users will have the ability to use all ten fingers to control their device. While the Apple iPad already offers this capability, many other tablets do not. 

The image sensors available from Synaptics also tend to do a better job of figuring out when the user actually wants to use the touchscreen and when they just accidently brushed the palm of their hand over it – what a great feature this would be to have on the touchpad of a laptop.

Synaptics new technology can also determine how hard the user is pushing down on the screen. This capability is useful when using drawing programs as it allows you to get a thicker, darker line when you push in on the screen and a thin, lighter line when you simply graze the touchpad.

Perhaps the most notable change in the Synaptics release is how you click the new touchpads. A number of touchpads in the market no longer have separate buttons for mouse clicks. As they are hinged, it is easy to click at the bottom of the touschreen, yet increasingly harder as you move up the screen.

Series 3 touchpads, expected to be available in June on laptops, have no hinge. When in use, the whole pad will move up and down, making it much easier to click anywhere on the pad to do what you want.

In other Synaptic news, TMCnet reported the launch of the ClearPad 2000 Series capacitive sensors which are the touchscreens on the KIN ONE and KIN TWO, Microsoft (News - Alert) Windows Phones. Users can move the contacts and contents to certain features by using dragging gestures. This helps users to concentrate more on the viewing and sharing of content.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard

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