Rick Bergman on Force Touch Technology

A new dimension in touch!

May 01, 2015

By Rick Bergman

large_ForcePad3-1002x1024_0.pngWith more than 2 billion smartphone owners worldwide, it’s safe to say that most are familiar with touchscreens. Touching to select, move, swipe, and scale have become expected results when interfacing with today’s smart devices. Today’s touchscreen technology is so intelligent that the user can perform touch while wearing a glove, when there is moisture on the screen, and even just hover over the screen without physically touching it. Just when you thought we had already perfected touchscreen technology, a new dimension was added.

In 2013, Synaptics pioneered this new dimension with our ForcePad™ technology. ForcePad detects the amount of pressure that the user’s finger(s) exert on the touch surface, delivers responsive feedback and added a new way of control and usability for users. By varying the amount of pressure applied, users can now control the speed of a gesture operation and continue the motion after the gesture stops. For example, when the user wants to scroll, they can initiate a scroll gesture and then the harder the user presses the faster they scroll, or if they use lighter pressure they can slowly but precisely review content. Pretty cool right?

The fact is that this technology is already starting to gain traction and buzz amongst key OEMs. Our ForcePad press technology has already been shipping with industry leading products, including HP’s flagship Elitebook Folio 1020, and our second generation ForcePad products are currently sampling.

We’ve also seen similar technology recently demonstrated in a major influencer’s new smartwatch and shipping on their latest laptop. There is no doubt in my mind that their adoption of force touch technology will accelerate its proliferation in more and more smart devices.

It really comes down to delivering more ease of use and an intuitive user experience. I’m proud that Synaptics brought to market another industry first with ForcePad technology. In keeping with our vision to lead the human interface revolution, we will continue to innovate and bring new solutions to our customers.

Rick Bergman, CEO, Synaptics

Be sure to follow Synaptics on Twitter @SynaCorp and LinkedIn.

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