Touch screens that track two fingers will soon seem basic. At least if you compare them with the multitouch-sensor ClearPad 3000 Series, recently announced by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Synaptics.
The transparent sensor tracks up to 10 simultaneous finger touches--we assume that should cover most uses--making possible complex multifinger gestures such as closing an application by "crumpling" it with several fingers, or playing polyphonic sounds on a virtual piano keyboard.
Apple made multitouch popular with its iPhone, which debuted about four months after Synaptics introduced its currently shipping two-finger sensor, ClearPad 2000, in August 2006. Though widely speculated that Apple is using Synaptics' technology, that has not been confirmed.
One phone that does use the sensor is the T-mobile G1 by HTC, and manufacturers such as Samsung and LG are also confirmed customers.
The new sensor features an accuracy of plus/minus 1 mm, is 0.3 mm thick, and is available in sizes up to 8 inches diagonally.
That supported screen size, and the speculated relationship between Synaptics and Apple, makes us wonder if this sensor is what Apple's been waiting for to launch its much-rumored tablet. … Read more